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Renal failure is now the 8th leading cause of death in America. It has made its way up the ranking from the 9th to the 8th, according to data the CDC released in January 2012. (National Vital Statistics Reports)

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global public health problem. It affects 50 million people worldwide, among them, over 1.7 million have end stage renal disease (ESRD), requiring either dialysis or transplantation. Within the United States, one in six adults has CKD, according to the United States Renal Data System’s (USRDS) 2010 annual report. In 2004, about half a million Americans had kidney failure. This number is projected to reach 1.8 million by 2020. When comparing the United States with other countries, the United States has one of the highest incidences of ESRD, ranking below Mexico only.

It is expensive to take care of patients with CKD. It cost Medicare nearly 25 billion dollars to care for individuals who are on dialysis or received kidney transplantation. According to USRDS 2010 data, CKD comprised 6.8% of Medicare population, but used over 14% of Medicare expenditures.  CKD is a silent disease, meaning an individual who has this disease does not usually experience any symptoms, even when the individual has reached a late stage of the condition such as requiring dialysis. In addition, the majority of people who have CKD do not know they have the disease. Kidney disease is more common in Asian-Americans, African-Americans, and Hispanics.

Chronic kidney disease is an irreversible and silent condition; you may not know you have it until the disease has reached a very late stage. By getting involved in KDSAP or KDSAP-CKDD, we can work together to raise CKD awareness and prevention. This can be more important than treatment. KDSAP-CKDD’s free health screenings will provide early detection of risk factors of CKD and result in CKD prevention.