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Public Service Announcements

Millions of Americans are at risk for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and most don't know it! Kidney disease has become the ninth leading cause of death and one of the most expensive chronic diseases to treat.

The first step in lowering these numbers is raising public awareness especially in high-risk individuals.

You are more at risk for chronic kidney disease if you:

* are of African American, Hispanic American, Asian, Pacific Islander, or American Indian descent.
* have untreated hypertension (high blood pressure), strep throat and exposure to chemicals present at home, work or the environment.
* are diabetic or have an inherited and congenital kidney diseases you are at increased risk for kidney disease.

If you have any of these factors you should have three simple tests through your physician or clinic:

1. Blood pressure measurement
2. Urine test for protein
3. Blood test for creatinine

Kidney disease usually progress slowly. Loss in function can happen before you know a problem exists.

Caught early enough, chronic kidney disease can be treated. Left untreated, it eventually leads to kidney failure.

Presently, there is no cure for kidney failure other than a kidney transplant.

However, advances in clinical research have great promise. There is potential now for substantial progress in treatments and cures. According to NIDDK, there is an important connection between autoimmune disease and glomerular disease. When the body's immune system functions properly, it creates protein-like substances called antibodies and immunoglobulins to protect the body against invading organisms. In an autoimmune disease, the immune system creates autoantibodies, which are antibodies or immunoglobulins that attack the body itself. Autoimmune diseases may be systemic and affect many parts of the body, or they may affect only specific organs, such as kidneys.

We encourage both private and public sectors to do more research and work in partnership.

You have the power to prevent kidney disease through early detection and by funding groundbreaking research.

For more information, please contact the National Institute of Health program NKDEP (National Kidney Disease Education Project) at 1-866-454-3639 or online at www.kidney.niddk.nih.gov or The Kidney Foundation program KEEP (Kidney Early Evaluation Program which is a free screening program) at 1-800-622-9010 or online at www.kidney.org.

Joan R. Halpin, President

Halpin Foundation