LEWISTON – The National Kidney Foundation of Maine will conduct a free health screening for people at increased risk for kidney disease from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Feb. 24, at the B Street Clinic.

The screening is part of the National Kidney Foundation’s early evaluation program, a free health screening program designed to help identify and educate individuals at increased risk-those who either have diabetes and/or hypertension or have first-degree relatives (parents, grandparents or siblings) with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Diabetes and hypertension are the two leading causes of kidney failure.

“We know that if we start early with education, detection and, if necessary, medical intervention, we can often postpone the onset of kidney disease or kidney failure and, in some cases, even prevent it from ever developing,” said Dr. John Vella.

Participants will have their weight and blood pressure checked. Medical professionals will collect blood and urine samples from those who require further testing. A physician will be on-site to review results with participants. All participants will receive educational material about preventing and treating kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

More than 300,000 Americans are being treated for chronic kidney disease, a condition that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant for patient survival. The number of individuals affected by kidney failure has been increasing by 6 to 8 percent each year.

The foundation urges individuals who may be at risk to attend the free screening to learn how improving or maintaining their health and getting proper medical attention may prevent or delay the onset of kidney disease.

To register for the free screening or for information on upcoming screenings in the area, contact the National Kidney Foundation of Maine at 1-800-639-7220. Volunteer nephrologists will be Dr. Candice Walworth and Dr. Jennifer Smith.

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