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New Screening Program Helps Identify People At Risk for Kidney Disease

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Vancouver, BC – British Columbians at risk of developing kidney disease can have their kidney health tested quickly and at no cost through a new targeted screening program offered by The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

The new program, called SeeKD, uses a portable blood‐screening device to test kidney function. The blood test and other measures help to identify people with early‐stage kidney disease who are probably unaware of their condition. In its early stages, kidney disease has few noticeable symptoms.  

Early identification of kidney disease is essential for helping people take control of their kidney health and in many cases, can help them avoid the eventual need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. Individuals at risk for kidney disease include people of Asian, Aboriginal, African, and South Asian descent, as well as people with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or a family history of kidney disease.   

This year in BC, the Kidney Foundation will hold 20 targeted screening events around the province, including several in March, which is national Kidney Health Month. Screenings take 15 minutes and include measures of blood pressure, waist circumference, body mass index, blood glucose level, creatinine, eGFR and urinalysis for blood and/or protein. All tests are conducted by health professionals.

“Our new targeted screening program demonstrates The Kidney Foundation’s commitment to early detection and prevention, and to working closely with kidney care professionals across the province to reduce the risk of kidney disease for all British Columbians,” says Heather Johnson, director of programs for The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch.  

“There is clear evidence that early diagnosis along with changes to diet and lifestyle can slow or even stop the progression of kidney disease,” says nephrologist Dr. Monica Beaulieu of the BC Renal Agency. “Because early kidney disease has few symptoms, this program could help identify many people who otherwise might not know they have the disease.” 

An estimated 200,000 British Columbians have some level of kidney disease, and most do not know it. Over 90 percent have no symptoms. Patients can be ill for years, with their kidneys gradually deteriorating, yet they often do not discover their life‐threatening condition until their kidneys no longer function properly and they need kidney replacement therapy. Through detection of their kidney disease at an earlier stage, many of these individuals could avoid or significantly delay their need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.  

For British Columbians who require regular dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive, the emotional, social and economic costs are significant. For the healthcare system the cost of treating people with kidney disease represents a huge and growing challenge.  

To discuss the possibility of arranging a targeted screening event in your community, contact Laurie Mark at The Kidney Foundation by calling 1‐800‐567‐8112 Ext 232, or email Laurie at lauriem@kidney.bc.ca.  

Throughout the month of March and on World Kidney Day (March 10th), the Kidney Foundation and the BC Renal Agency are partnering together to raise awareness about kidney disease. Both organizations encourage British Columbians to learn more about their risk for developing kidney disease through a simple online quiz at www.bcrenalagency.ca.  

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For more information: 

         
Heather Johnson, Director of Programs      
The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch
1‐800‐567‐8112  ext 227           
heatherj@kidney.bc.ca

 
 

 

 

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