Most Americans know they need to watch their cholesterol if they want to avoid heart disease, but very few have the same awareness when it comes to kidney disease. One in seven Maui residents has chronic kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation of Hawai'i. And even more alarming--they don't know they have the disease. The State of Hawai'i leads the country in chronic kidney disease (CKD) with a 30 percent higher rate than the national average.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) intends to improve "Kidney I.Q." to get Mauians up to speed on risk factors, early detection and the role kidneys play in maintaining overall health.
"Most people with kidney disease are not diagnosed until late in the course of illness, when there are few opportunities for prevention," said Maui's Kidney Foundation Director Colleen Welty. "We need to alert the public and health policymakers to this real threat to populations here in Hawai'i, the U.S. and around the world, and to the fact that early detection can make a difference."
Free screenings for adults over 18 years of age will be available 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.
To make early detection of chronic kidney disease as easy as possible, the foundation is offering a free screening for adults 18 and over 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 free screening is offered to people who may be "at risk"--anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or a family history of kidney disease--in order to prevent kidney disease from becoming kidney failure.
Recent studies estimate that 26 million Americans have CKD. In Hawai'i, Native Hawaiians, Filipinos and Japanese have high incidences of CKD and kidney failure. We now know that CKD multiplies the risk for heart disease and stroke. World Kidney Day public education initiatives will highlight kidney disease as treatable because there is now strong scientific evidence that early detection, altering lifestyle factors and aggressively controlling blood pressure, not only slow down the progression of CKD to kidney failure, but can also significantly reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease that leads to premature death in the majority of these patients.
"The County of Maui, Aloha Recycling Inc. and other local sponsors and patrons who support our fundraisers or donate to our Kidney Car and Kidney Clothes programs or assist the Maui office of the National Kidney Foundation with kidney education classes, and support groups for dialysis patients and their caregivers have done much to help fund our programs on Maui," said Welty. "These programs are offered free to the community because the community comes out consistently to support us. Over 100 volunteers will be at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center on Saturday to assist in the kidney screening.
Many dedicated individual volunteers, Rainbow Dialysis staff, University of Hawai'i Maui College student nurses, HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) Club members from Maui High School, Alpha Delta Kappa members and all of the Lions Clubs of Maui will be helping.
"With a staff of one-and-a-half, this is the only way we can make this happen," said Welty. "Cumulatively, over 900 folks have been screened, so this year we'll hit the 1,000 mark," Welty noted.
The National Kidney Foundation of Hawai'i is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increasing availability of all organs for transplantation.
For more information about risk factors, the free community screening on Da Kidney Da Kine Day or other upcoming prevention screenings and intervention educational activities, call the Maui office at 986-1900.