Siemens and the National Kidney Foundation Enter Partnership
DEERFIELD, Ill., April 29, 2009 — Siemens Healthcare (www.siemens.com/diagnostics) donates clinical laboratory instruments and diagnostic tests to the National Kidney Foundation's community outreach program, Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), to help reduce the number of individuals that develop chronic kidney disease. The program raises awareness in the United States about early detection of kidney disease and screens high-risk individuals at no charge.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is commonly a result of diabetes. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 180 million people worldwide have diabetes. That number is likely to more than double by 2030, primarily due to population growth, aging demographics and unhealthy diet. If kidney disease is identified and treated in its early stages, the two common late-stage kidney disease treatments -- dialysis and kidney transplant -- may be avoided.
"Diagnostic testing is vital to the early detection and effective treatment of kidney disease," commented Donal Quinn, CEO, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. "We feel privileged to support the National Kidney Foundation in the delivery of quality diagnostic testing and preventative screening for thousands of people each year at risk for kidney disease."
Siemens is donating 80 Clinitek(R) diagnostic instruments and associated microalbumin urinalysis testing supplies. The company's Clinitek microalbumin test is used to screen for elevated levels of protein in urine, one of the earliest markers of kidney disease. This is a simple test easily completed in community settings where the KEEP program performs screenings at no charge to patients. The Siemens microalbumin test provides an albumin-to-creatinine ratio, which is used by clinicians to help diagnose early stages of kidney disease.
"Most people think of kidney disease as kidney failure when dialysis or transplantation is required. Yet millions of Americans are affected by chronic kidney disease at earlier stages and very few are aware they have it. In fact, the KEEP data shows that only eight percent of participants with evidence of kidney disease knew they had the condition," said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, Chief Medical Officer, National Kidney Foundation and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "The partnership with Siemens will enable us to continue to test individuals at risk for CKD through KEEP, boosting awareness, treatment and control of CKD risk factors in communities around the country through early detection."