In addition to clinical information, the web site offers a link to NIDDK's National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse for fact sheets and booklets about kidney disease for health professionals, scientists, and the public, many of which are available in Spanish. The website also has information about program meetings and activities, an events calendar, and a directory of kidney and urologic disease organizations.
"This web site is one of the first steps taken by the National Kidney Disease Education Program. It contributes to our dual goals of heightening awareness of the risks for kidney disease and promoting its earlier detection, treatment, and even prevention," said Thomas Hostetter, M.D., NKDEP Director. "Material and links at the site should be of particular use to people who have early kidney disease, those at risk for it, and their health care providers. As the new web site grows and expands in content we hope it will prove to be an increasingly valuable resource for providers, patients, and those at risk for kidney disease," Hostetter added.
The goal of the program is to raise awareness of the seriousness of kidney disease, the importance of prevention, early diagnosis and appropriate management of kidney disease, and the prevention and management of its complications.
Kidney disease is a critical and growing medical problem in the United States. More than 8 million Americans have seriously reduced kidney function and about 400,000 require dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive a figure that doubled in a ten-year period. Leading causes of kidney failure are diabetes, followed by hypertension, glomerulonephritis, and cystic kidney and urologic diseases. In 1999, nearly $18 billion was spent to treat patients with kidney failure according to the United States Renal Data System, a program of NIDDK.
For more information contact Mimi Lising, Associate Director, NKDEP, (301) 496-3583, or e-mail LisingM@extra.niddk.nih.gov.