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April 22 04:19 PM
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Kidney disease new risk


To the Editor:

This March the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) will celebrate National Kidney Month by offering free screenings to Michigan residents at high risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD).

CKD does not discriminate. It is an under-diagnosed, under-treated, yet treatable disease. Due to the increasing prevalence of obesity, hypertension and diabetes, CKD has emerged as a major health threat to our community. More than 940,000 Michigan adults are estimated to be living with the disease.

Here at the NKFM, the focus on education and screening programs has never been greater. Nearly 30 percent of local residents screened through the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) were found to have chronic kidney disease, yet only two percent were aware of the threat before they received our free screening.

Consider that more than $57 billion of the U.S. Medicare budget is allocated to treat CKD and $19 billion to the treatment of end-stage kidney failure.

In Michigan, more than 12,000 patients undergo dialysis. With increased screenings we can identify at-risk populations before they are faced with the prospect of kidney failure.

We can no longer ignore the facts. As the numbers increase, we are more driven than ever to continue identifying risk factors for kidney disease in our area.

It is our goal to make sure that people with diabetes and high blood pressure have access to kidney screening tests. Early intervention can help save health and lives.

For more information on our screenings, please call (800) 482-1455 or visit our Web site www.nkfm.org.

Dan Carney, Chief Executive Officer, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
February 25, 2009

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