New Public Service Campaign Encourages Early Detection of Kidney Disease

CoffeeNew York, NY (August 15, 2005) - When it comes to chronic kidney disease, most Americans don't know the half of it, according to the National Kidney Foundation. The foundation, which just launched a new radio and TV public service campaign designed to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease, says 20 million --or 1 in 9--Americans actually have chronic kidney disease and most don't know it.

The spots focus on the lack of symptoms for early kidney disease and the need to get tested if you are at risk. They ask viewers and listeners whether they'd notice if they were missing half of their friends or their money and similarly, half of their kidney function. The campaign points out that most people think they'd notice but in all likelihood, they would not realize if they were missing half of their kidney function.

"The earliest sign of kidney disease is a very small amount of protein in the urine that cannot be detected unless the urine is tested," says David Warnock, MD, president of the National Kidney Foundation and Director of the Division of Nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "We now know that early detection and treatment, including diet and medication, can slow down the progression of kidney disease and prevent further damage, in some cases," continues Warnock.

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney disease, you are at risk, according to the foundation, and should get tested for kidney disease with blood and urine tests. African Americans are particularly hard hit by kidney disease due to their high rate of high blood pressure and diabetes, the two leading causes of kidney disease. Others at risk include American Indians, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders and those over 60.

The 30 and 60 second TV and radio spots were produced in both English and Spanish and distributed to more than 1,300 stations around the U.S. The campaign is sponsored by Abbott Laboratories.

The partnership between Abbott and the National Kidney Foundation has been critical in our joint effort to educate patients and caregivers on the risk factors associated with chronic kidney disease and the importance of treating complications early," said Laura A. Williams, M.D., MPH, global project head, Renal Global Project Team, Abbott.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract disease, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation. For more information, visit To learn about People Like Us, email

To view the television and radio spots, please click here.