Face-to-Face with Chronic Kidney Disease: Going Where Help Counts the Most

KEEP Healthy is the National Kidney Foundation’s (NKF) frontline effort against chronic kidney disease (CKD). In local communities around the country, KEEP Healthy provides quick tests that assess risk factors and look for early signs of kidney damage.

‘KEEP’ stands for ‘Kidney Early Evaluation Program’. The screenings include risk surveys, body mass index (BMI) checks, blood pressure checks, a urine test to look for protein in the urine, and consultation with medical professionals. Patients receive education and resources to help keep their kidneys healthy and reduce their risk for CKD.

KEEP Healthy is one of NKF’s signature programs and the most immediate way the organization fights CKD and helps Texans. NKF partners with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas through the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® program (HKHF) to hold screenings throughout the state. The screenings are held in populations at an increased risk of developing CKD or in low-income areas with limited access to the healthcare system.

Risk factors for CKD include high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, family history of kidney failure, older age and being physically inactive. The HKHF grant makes it possible for NKF to meet more of those at risk for CKD in the comfort of their communities and with volunteers from their local neighborhoods.

As spending on CKD continues to rise, greater emphasis must be placed on prevention of disease progression, through earlier diagnosis and optimizing management. Based on the NKF simulation model, over the next 20 years, early detection and treatment of CKD could greatly reduce total healthcare spending. Earlier diagnosis and management would slow CKD progression, and reduce complications, kidney failure and deaths. The result would be improved health outcomes and tremendous cost savings to the health system.

NKF is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of CKD. NKF, 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 CKD, and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.

Fueled by passion and urgency, NKF is a lifeline for all people affected by CKD. As pioneers of scientific research and innovation, NKF focuses on the whole patient through the lens of kidney health. Relentless in its work, NKF enhances lives through action, education and accelerating change.

Thirty million American adults are estimated to have CKD—and most aren’t aware of it. One in three American adults is at risk for CKD. Risk factors for CKD include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history of kidney failure. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are three times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly one and one-half times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end-stage renal disease (kidney failure). For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org.

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