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Pediatric specialist advocates for routine screenings during National Kidney Month

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — March is National Kidney Month and the perfect time for a screening.

Kidney diseases, including chronic kidney disease, are known as “silent killers” and are a leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Dr. Eric Yancy, a pediatric specialist in Indianapolis, is advocating for Hoosiers of all ages to get routine screenings early because, by the time most adults experience symptoms of kidney failure, it’s too late.  

The CDC says 9 out of 10 people with early kidney disease don’t know they have it because it usually has no symptoms until it reaches the later stages.

Black Americans are 3.4 times more likely to develop kidney failure, partly due to high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure — two leading causes of kidney failure, according to the American Kidney Fund.

Dr. Yancy says preventive care is important in youth, especially among those who have certain risk factors for kidney disease.

“When we run into increasing levels of childhood obesity…when we have young people with unchecked blood pressure challenges when we get into the extremely high-salt, high-fat diets and put on all the extra pounds as a youth…it comes back to get you in much later in life. And that’s one of the things we have to start doing early, looking at those health care visits and health care maintenance visits, even early, to try and track and reduce some of this before it ever gets started,” Yancy said.

Yancy says simple blood and urine tests could tell how well the kidneys are working and help stabilize the kidneys’ condition.

To support Hoosier with kidney disease, sign up for the National Kidney Foundation’s 2023 Indianapolis Kidney Walk on Saturday, June 24. The event will start at the Indiana Historical Society.