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Kidney Research UK launches first ever national kidney disease screening pilot

12th September 2008

Kidney Research UK is to launch a pilot programme of national screening days for chronic kidney disease (CKD).  The screenings will take place from September until the end of November in four centres across the UK. 

The national pilot is being conducted in association with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and aims to screen up to 2,000 people at four sites (namely London, Birmingham, Oldham, plus one other) each session targeting one of the high-risk groups, which include:

  • Black Africans and Caribbeans
  • South Asians 
  • Those with a family history of kidney disease
  • People with diabetes
  • People with hypertension

The screening pilot, which is being sponsored by pharmaceutical companies Amgen and Roche, and supported by equipment from Siemens, is being launched because CKD affects more than three million people in the UK, many of whom are unaware of the condition.  If the programme proves successful, it could provide a model for national risk assessment.

Dr. Donal O'Donoghue, National Clinical Director for kidney care comments:
"CKD is common, harmful and treatable. However it often goes undetected as sufferers often display no symptoms, although people with high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes and certain ethnic groups have a higher risk. Early detection however can have a significant impact on patient outcomes because changes in lifestyle and diet can slow down the progression of the disease, delaying the progression to dialysis or transplantation."

Dr. Dwomoa Adu, the chief investigator for the screening pilot from Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, comments: "We now have drugs that reduce the rate at which renal disease progresses.  If we can identify people with early stages of kidney disease, we can manage the condition and delay the need for dialysis and transplantation.  The way to do this is through the targeted screening of high-risk groups.  That way we can identify people with CKD, before they reach a critical stage and help them to manage the condition with medication and lifestyle changes.  This is the right thing to do for both the patient and the NHS."

People wishing to find out if they are eligible to participate in the pilot can call the Kidney Health Information Line on 0845 300 1499 who will be able to advise them of screenings in their area.

The appointments will last for approximately 45 minutes and patients will have their height, weight and blood pressure checked, and will be asked for blood and urine samples. 

Individuals who think they may be at risk should contact their doctor or alternatively contact the Kidney Health Information Line on 0845 300 1499 or visit www.kidneyresearchuk.org.

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