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March 10 is World Kidney Day

Date: 2/28/2011

SPRINGFIELD — People with kidney failure are three times as likely to have heart disease and so the National Kidney Foundation Serving Connecticut and Western Massachusetts is urging Americans to think about protecting their kidneys and saving their hearts this March during National Kidney Month and especially on World Kidney Day, March 10.

More than 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease and most don't know it. "Since kidney disease is often silent without any symptoms, it can sneak up on people, particularly those who are not aware of the major risk factors. Yet there are basic steps Americans can take to prevent both kidney and heart disease. Stopping smoking, keeping blood pressure under control, eating a low salt and low fat diet and maintaining a healthy body weight are all critical," Donna Sciacca, regional program director for the National Kidney Foundation Serving Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, said.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, heart disease is a risk factor for kidney disease and kidney disease is a known risk factor for heart disease so it's important for those who have one of these diseases to get tested for both.

"Early detection and treatment can make a difference in preventing kidney disease from becoming kidney failure and can help reduce cardiovascular complications in those with kidney disease," Sciacca said.

To help people understand if they are at risk for kidney disease, the foundation is offering a free Health Risk Assessment Program on March 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Mason Square/Emerson Hall in Springfield.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney disease, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by this disease and increasing organ donation.

For more information about kidney disease risk factors or World Kidney Day, visit

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