CDC Recognizes Chronic Kidney Disease as Major Public Health Issue

New York, NY (October 16, 2006) - Saving lives and reducing suffering through early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease is the focus of a new partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). The CDC has awarded a grant to the NKF to support the research, planning, and implementation of a chronic kidney disease screening program on both the federal and state levels.

“Americans who have early kidney disease, especially those with diabetes, have a significantly increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Our challenge is to find early kidney disease and treat it aggressively. We can substantially reduce risk and improve outcomes by using treatments that are readily available today,” says Allan Collins, MD, NKF president-elect and the Principal Investigator of the project. “The experience that we at the NKF have gained in running our Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) nationwide will aid in our development of the new screening program.”  click here for more

The CDC will work collaboratively with the National Kidney Foundation to develop all phases of the program. Initially, the screening will be pilot-tested in four states. Results of the pilot phase will be utilized to create a modified screening program to be conducted in all 50 states. The terms of the grant begin on September 30, 2006 and end on September 29, 2009.

According to NKF’s Chairman, Charles B. Fruit, “this grant is recognition on the part of our federal government that chronic kidney disease is a public health issue and a major multiplier of health care risk and cost. One in nine Americans has kidney disease and most don’t know it. Now, NKF has a new partner in our mission of alerting Americans to this threat.”

“Implementation of effective screening programs for kidney disease will undoubtedly help reduce its devastating toll on the population,” said Dr. Michael Engelgau, Acting Director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, accounting for 40 to 50 percent of all cases annually in the United States. Kidney disease is a major public health problem because it affects a large portion of the population, reduces both the quality and length of life, and is expensive to treat. It is highly important that we continue to develop strategies and treatments to address the severity of this problem.”