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Kidney Patient Advocacy Community Joins National Effort to Raise Awareness about Health Crisis Impacting more than 26 Million Americans
Date:3/4/2008

- DaVita Patient Citizens Promotes National Kidney Month Programs to Combat Spread of Kidney Disease; Incidence on the Rise Nationwide -

WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- DaVita Patient Citizens (DPC) -- a national patient advocacy group comprised of more than 22,000 dialysis and pre-dialysis patients and family members, working to improve the quality of life for all dialysis patients through education and advocacy -- enthusiastically supports National Kidney Month and applauds the kidney community nationwide for participating in this important initiative to educate Americans of the dangers associated with kidney disease and the importance of kidney health and disease prevention.

Members of the DPC community, including caregivers, dialysis patients, and their family members, will participate in programs throughout the month to educate communities across the country about Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). National Kidney Month is also a time for the kidney care community to reach out to policymakers to engage in dialogue about the need for policies that protect a growing number of patients with kidney failure, as well as education and prevention programs to stop the spread of this health crisis in America. DPC will host a member fly-in in Washington, DC during National Kidney Month -- where kidney patients can discuss CKD with their elected officials.

"Educating our neighbors about the importance of kidney disease early detection and prevention is critical. There are 26 million Americans with CKD, and millions more are at risk of developing the disease -- it's up to us to help inform about its risk factors to help them avoid it," said Chad Lennox, Executive Director of DPC. "We hope that during National Kidney Month, lawmakers will also recognize the enormity of kidney disease's impact on the nation, and will take action to help fight it."

Chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension -- the two leading risk factors for kidney disease -- continue to rise across the U.S. and lead to new cases of CKD. If not treated properly, CKD will progress to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), commonly known as kidney failure. Today, more than 400,000 Americans suffer from ESRD and rely on lifesaving dialysis treatments to remove toxins from the blood in place of their failed kidneys. Because kidney transplantation is severely limited due to the shortage of suitable donors, organ transplant rejection and the age and health of many ESRD patients, most patients must remain on dialysis for the remainder of their lives.

On March 13, 2008, DPC will also be a proud participant of World Kidney Day, a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). World Kidney Day first began in 2006 to promote early detection of kidney disease, now a leading public health threat worldwide.

About DaVita Patient Citizens

DaVita Patient Citizens (DPC) is a nonprofit patient organization dedicated to improving dialysis patients' quality of life by developing awareness of dialysis issues, advocating for dialysis patients, improving the partnership between patients and caregivers, and promoting favorable public policy. To learn more about DPC, please visit http://www.dialysispatients.org.


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SOURCE DaVita Patient Citizens
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