Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) currently afflicts one in seven Maui residents. But unfortunately, most people don't even know they have this "silent disease" until their kidneys are already failing.
To create public awareness about the escalating CKD epidemic, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) will offer free, early kidney disease screenings at the eighth Annual Da Kidney Da Kine Day on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center.
The event will also include a health fair, an organ donation and transplant exhibit, a keiki corner and opportunities to win prizes contributed by local businesses which support the event.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to talk story with those who have either donated or received a "Gift of Life" from a stranger, family member or friend.
NKF Maui Branch Director Colleen Welty describes CKD and kidney failure as a "silent, deadly and fast-growing epidemic, which threatens the health and lives of over 40 million Americans nationwide."
It is projected that in Hawai'i, more than 156,000 residents already have CKD and at least another 100,000 are "at risk" for kidney disease and failure.
Hawai'i leads the country in CKD with a rate 30 percent higher than the national average. But throughout the state, the disease is widely undetected and under-diagnosed.
The leading causes of kidney disease are high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and a family history of kidney disease. The state's most at-risk groups include Native Hawaiians, Filipinos and Japanese.
But with early detection, education, medication and lifestyle changes, CKD is treatable. With early intervention, patients have a chance to reverse or control CKD in its early stages, possibly avoiding or delaying the progression of the disease to end-stage kidney failure and the need for dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant to survive.
Screenings will detect signs of early kidney disease, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Each participant (over 18 only) will receive personalized results and a one-on-one consultation with a medical professional.
But it's not all about serious screening. Jimmy Mac and the Kool Kats, Na Keiki O Halau Hula Kauluokala, and George Kahumoku Jr. and Friends will entertain while people get screened. The screening process takes less than an hour. It is best if participants come without eating breakfast for an accurate blood sugar reading. Attend Saturday's free event and bring your 'ohana.
For more information, call the Maui office of the National Kidney Foundation of Hawai'i at 986-1900.