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The National Kidney Foundation is committed to slowing or eliminating the progress of serious kidney disease. Family members of today's patients may never become tomorrow's patients because KEEP identified their problem and led to an effective prevention and treatment plan. Numerous studies have shown that uncontrolled diabetes and/or hypertension are associated with an increased risk of developing kidney disease. Evidence also supports the view that there may be a familial predisposition for risk of developing kidney disease. It is not known what causes these familial clusterings, and how they might predispose one to the accelerated development of kidney failure, but genetics may play c.n important role. Based on this information, it appears that screening individuals who are hypertensive or diabetic, or who have family members with these conditions and/or renal disease, is a productive way of identifying a high percentage of people who may be at increased risk.

KEEP Program Objectives

- To identify individuals at increased risk for kidney disease due primarily to high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes via thorough health screenings: those who have first-degree relatives with chronic kidney disease, diabetes and/or high blood pressure or those with known diabetes and/or high blood pressure

- To encourage patients deemed at increased risk to seek further evaluation from a physician and take the measures to improve their health

- To empower individuals to take action to prevent or delay the onset of kidney disease or kidney failure through education and appropriate disease management

- To develop a physician referral network for patients identified as being at increased risk for kidney disease, hypertension and diabetes

- To provide appropriate follow-up for individuals who are identified as being at increased risk.

The Kidney Early Evaluation Program is a free health screening program designed to identify individuals at increased risk for kidney failure.

About The KEEP Screening

Since 1997, the National Kidney Foundation has been offering KEEP screenings. KEEP is a free, one-day health screening designed to identify individuals who are at a greater risk for developing kidney disease, inform them of their risk and encourage these individuals to seek further evaluation and follow-up from a physician.

KEEP participants go through the following screening process:

1. Registration
2. Screening questionnaire- (this determines which participants must proceed to stations three through five)
3. Blood pressure and weight measurements
4. Lab portion (blood and urine specimen collection)
5. Exit interview with physician A physician reviews health screening results with a participant.

Follow-up Component

The NKF conducts follow-up with those individuals whose test values are outside the normal range. These individuals are advised to seek further evaluation from a physician. Those who do not have access to medical care are referred to a health care provider. All KEEP participants are sent their entire screening results within a few weeks after the screening. Approximately two months after the results are sent, participants deemed at risk are contacted via mail or telephone to determine if they consulted a physician. The follow-up component is critical to the success of the program and helps to ensure that KEEP screening participants identified at risk receive proper medical care.

Research and Evaluation

The perceptions and evaluations of all involved individuals: participants, professionals and volunteers, are considered in evaluating the KEEP screenings. All comments and suggestions are vital to the success of the program. These perceptions enhance each of the program components for the effective implementation of KEEP in the future. The success of the research is dependent on valid data. Therefore, data collection tools are uniform for all screenings. There are two parts to the program research component. The first part involves the use of the Screening Questionnaire, which is completed by all participants. Only those who are at increased risk, according to the screening criteria, will proceed through the entire KEEP screening. Follow-up surveys are conducted with all individuals who have test values outside the normal range. This is an essential aspect of the research component. Clinical information is systematically collected at all screening sites throughout the United States. This data is analyzed sing appropriate descriptive, inferential and graphical statistical methods. Reports of screening findings present relevant results and answer important epidemiological questions.