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National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Elisa H. Gladstone

National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) Launches New Spanish-Language Initiative

A new Spanish-language initiative of the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP), National Institutes of Health, includes a website and brochure that highlight the connection between kidney disease and its primary risk factors — diabetes and hypertension. The NKDEP is launching this national effort to raise awareness of kidney disease among Hispanic Americans.

“Many people who have been diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure don’t know that these conditions put them at risk for kidney disease,” said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., a kidney specialist and director of NIDDK’s Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases. “These new resources help make that connection. We want people at risk to know that there are steps they can take to help protect their kidneys.”

Hispanics are disproportionately affected by diabetes and hypertension, the two leading causes of kidney disease. Other risk factors for kidney disease include cardiovascular disease and a family history of kidney disease. Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to develop kidney failure as non-Hispanic whites.

The website and brochure provide science-based information on the risk factors for kidney disease, the basic principles of kidney function, as well as the importance of early testing. The materials also stress the availability of medications that can prevent or slow the disease progression. Both resources offer additional Spanish-language resources on diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease.

“These materials provide critical information to people in the Hispanic community at high risk for kidney disease. Our goal is to encourage Hispanics at risk to talk to their healthcare provider about getting tested,” said Dr. Briggs. “The NKDEP will continue to expand its outreach to additional high-risk audiences.”

The new materials were developed in collaboration with kidney disease experts and community-based organizations serving the Hispanic community. To view the NKDEP Spanish-language website, and to download or order the brochure, visit www.nkdep.nih.gov/espanol. The brochure, along with additional information, is also available by calling the NKDEP toll free number at 1-866-4-KIDNEY (1-866-454-3639). Instructions are available in Spanish and English.

The National Kidney Disease Education Program is an initiative of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, one of the National Institutes of Health. The NKDEP aims to raise awareness of the seriousness of kidney disease, the importance of testing those at high risk, and the availability of treatment to prevent or slow kidney failure for the public and providers.

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