Collaborating to Reduce Chronic Kidney Disease in Texas

 The prevalence of diabetes has exploded to epidemic levels in the United States – more than 29 million Americans are living with the disease. Rates of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), primarily caused by diabetes and high blood pressure, have also soared and continue to grow. An estimated 11 percent of Texans are diabetic, advancing to chronic complications such as CKD at an alarming rate.

The vision of the TKF is to become a positive collaborative force in bringing kidney awareness, education and prevention to a region disproportionately hit by this devastating disease. Read more about their organization below.

What is the Texas Kidney Foundation?

The TKF is a dedicated group of Texas residents committed to bringing light to the powerful impact CKD is having on the citizens of our state. To inform residents, TKF has created the Kidney Clinicians and Adult Renal Education (C.A.R.E.) Campaign. Kidney C.A.R.E. is designed to raise awareness about CKD by educating the public about this disease. TKF has assembled a team of professionals who are dedicated to supporting the citizens of our state. Texas leads the nation in residents affected by CKD—a fact that TKF is working every day to change.

What is the Kidney C.A.R.E. Campaign?

The Kidney C.A.R.E. Campaign is a TKF initiative funded by BCBSTX. TKF offers free screenings through its signature program: the Texas Kidney Check. With the HKHF grant award from BCBSTX, TKF is expanding its footprint to 109 Texas counties over a three-year period. In year one, the foundation will reach 43 counties and thousands of Texas residents through the screenings. The goal: catch CKD early and educate people about the disease.

What is the Texas Kidney Check?

Over the past four years, the Texas Kidney Check has screened nearly 9,000 clients in 230 locations throughout South and Central Texas. In 2017, 37 percent of clients had at least three results out of the normal range indicating the possibility of early-stage kidney disease. Up to 72 percent had two or more results out of the normal range, 57 percent were "at-risk" with high glucose levels, and 53 percent had elevated blood pressure. High glucose levels and elevated blood pressure are potential indicators for diabetes or hypertension, the two-leading causes of renal failure. These results are not only helpful in detecting early signs of kidney disease, but in detecting other health issues that could negatively impact a client’s quality of life.

Why is this important? 

According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 96 percent of people with kidney damage or reduced kidney function are not aware that they have it. An estimated one in three adults with diabetes and one in seven adults with high blood pressure may have CKD. The Texas Kidney Foundation believes people need to be made aware of this connection. Diabetes has long been a precursor to kidney failure, yet often the sufferers of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) are unaware of the connection. An estimated 30 million people, roughly 15 percent of all Americans, are suffering from CKD.

What can you do?

Join TKF at one of their free screenings. You can check their calendar by visiting www.txkidney.org. Follow TKF on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and tell a friend. Your voice can make a difference in reducing the burden of CKD for Texans.

This is part one of a multi-part series with our March Healthy Kids Healthy Families Partner of the Month, the Texas Kidney Foundation. Stay tuned for part two, where we will discuss details about the Kidney C.A.R.E. campaign.

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