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The National Kidney Foundation’s KEEP Healthy Screening Emphasizes Early Diagnosis

March 29, 2016
In the United States, 1 in 9 Americans has kidney disease, and most don't know it. The problem is particularly acute in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, where more than 700,000 people are affected, nearly 7,000 patients are on dialysis and more than 1,700 people are waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant.

The National Kidney Foundation's community-based initiative to educate about the kidneys, KEEP Healthy, aims to reduce those numbers by teaching participants to identify the risk factors for kidney disease and to take steps to keep their kidneys healthy.

Participants in the program answer a brief health risk survey and have their height, weight and blood pressure measured. Individuals determined to be at risk complete a simple ACR urine test to identify the presence of protein, an early indicator of kidney disease. Finally, all participants have the opportunity to speak to a medical professional who reviews their results, answers questions, and provides free educational materials.

DSC_1293While anyone can participate in a KEEP Healthy screening, the program is especially important for groups determined to be at an increased risk for kidney disease, including anyone with high blood pressure or diabetes, those with a family history of kidney failure, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders and American Indians, anyone age 60 and older, and individuals with a body mass index of 30 or above.

On January 9-10, 2016, the National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area (NKF/NCA) delivered a KEEP Healthy screening to over 600 attendees at the 2016 NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo. While many attendees were visiting the booth for the first time, others said that they looked forward to their kidney health check-up every year.

"I love the program because it's very educational," said one participant. "This is my fifth year attending the health fair, and the [NKF/NCA] booth is my favorite and the one I start with!"

"The NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo allows us to reach hundreds of area residents and encourage people to take control of their health to avoid kidney failure," said Michele Anthony, Executive Director of the National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area.  "We strive to provide residents with access to kidney-related health screenings and information."

For more information on kidney disease or to register for KEEP Healthy, contact the National Kidney Foundation at 202.244.7900 or visit www.kidney.org.

The National Kidney Foundation, a major voluntary nonprofit health organization, is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by kidney disease, and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.