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Sep 22, 2010 5:39 PM

Free Kidney Screening

Most Americans know that heart disease and cancer can be silent killers and understand that monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol and having regular mammograms are critical to protecting their health. Too few adults-and not enough doctors-realize, however, that chronic kidney disease (CKD) is another common, life-threatening illness that often goes undetected until very advanced when it could be diagnosed early through simple tests. Over the course of a day, your kidneys will filter 200 liters of fluid, removing toxins from your body. Healthy kidneys are essential to life.

Primary care physicians are less likely than other doctors to recognize when their patients have kidney disease, according to new study findings in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases - suggesting that many patients miss out on treatment in the early stages of the disease, when they have the best odds of avoiding or delaying complications.

"Early detection is the key to preventing or delaying complications of chronic kidney disease," says Julie Gable, Program Services Director for the National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana (NKFL). "These findings demonstrate that patients at risk - including those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of kidney disease - need to be active participants in their healthcare. It may just save their lives."

Twenty-six million Americans (1 in 9 adults) suffer from CKD and another 20 million are at risk. Worse, today's epidemics of diabetes and obesity could contribute to even higher rates of CKD in the future. Undiagnosed and untreated, CKD can lead to serious health problems including kidney failure (end-stage renal disease). Caught early, it can often be managed, and kidney damage can be slowed or stopped. The earlier CKD is detected, the better a person's chances are of working successfully with his or her doctors to slow the loss of kidney function and avoid health problems. That's why early testing for people at risk is so important.

The NKFL will offer a FREE screening through its Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) for people at risk for CKD. The risk factors include people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or if they have parents or siblings with high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease. KEEP will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in Opelousas at the Louisiana Memorial United Methodist Church, 510 E. Bellevue Street on Saturday, October 10, 2009.

All participants will receive a series of FREE testing valued at over $320 to determine their kidney function and other health issues. This includes blood pressure reading, weight and waist measurements for body index, hemoglobin blood test for anemia, lipid panel for cholesterol and triglycerides, urine analysis for albumin to creatinine ratio, serum creatinine to measure how well kidneys are filtering blood and the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) to measure the kidney function. A limited number of participants will be screened. You may call (504) 861-4500 or (800) 462-3694 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. for pre-registration guidelines and to obtain an appointment time.

 

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