National Kidney Foundation Launches New Kidney Disease Public Education Series


~Animated Video Series and Heat Maps are Visual Guides for What You Need to Know about CKD~

NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has launched a new animated video series aimed at educating people on their chronic kidney disease (CKD) risk. “Kidney Numbers and the CKD Heat Map” is a new initiative that conveys complex health information while targeting patients with varying levels of health literacy. The “Kidney Numbers and the CKD Heat Map” initiative is supported by Bayer.


NKF Logo (PRNewsfoto/National Kidney Foundation)

“Understanding the role of kidney numbers and how to read and interpret that data can be complex and difficult to convey to both patients and the general public,” said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, Chief Medical Officer for the National Kidney Foundation. “Our experts have developed three short and engaging animated videos and a series of CKD heat maps to help explain these complex topics in the simplest terms possible.”

The three patient-friendly videos, ranging from about one and a half to two and a half minutes each, are available in both English and Spanish. “Kidney Numbers and the CKD Heat Map” gives patients from diverse backgrounds the tools they need to better understand how kidney measurements such as eGFR and uACR are used to determine overall kidney health, as well as their associated risks for CKD and heart disease.

Public knowledge of CKD is notoriously low. In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease, but approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it.  About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabeteshigh blood pressureheart diseaseobesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. Blacks or African Americans are almost 4 times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure.  Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.

Approximately 785,000 Americans have irreversible kidney failure and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. More than 555,000 of these patients receive dialysis to replace kidney function and 230,000 live with a transplant. Nearly 100,000 Americans are on the waitlist for a kidney transplant right now.  Depending on where a patient lives, the average wait time for a kidney transplant can be upwards of three to seven years.

“Kidney disease is a public health crisis,” added Dr. Vassalotti. “We have developed similar public education programs before, and they’ve been very well received.  These animated educational videos will help us to communicate complex medical terminology in lay terms to help improve patient understanding of risk as well as promote awareness of CKD and the current treatment options available.”

NKF’s “Kidney Numbers and the CKD Heat Map” series is available now on YouTube both in English and Spanish. Both the videos and maps are also available on www.kidney.org. Here are additional details:

Kidney Disease Facts

In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease – and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it. About 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Americans are almost 4 times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure. 

About the National Kidney Foundation 

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org.

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