health careDiabetes, high blood pressure put people at risk

It has no symptoms and it will not just go away, but it can be treated.

With an increasing number of Americans suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, health experts are taking steps to raise awareness about something that both conditions can lead to: kidney disease.

To that end, the National Institutes of Health's National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) is offering free tools and resources to help prevent or improve management of kidney disease.

A new section of the NKDEP website called Get Involved, provides an online suite of free educational materials to health care providers and communities, designed as an easily accessible and time-saving central repository. The section offers the following tools that can be used by physicians, healthcare organizations, community health centers and other groups interested in kidney disease, such as families:

• Fact sheets on kidney disease and NKDEP
• Kidney disease illustrations
• Newsletter articles for patients and providers
• Social media content

"We develop materials that are simple, short and usable, especially for people from high-risk populations and the providers who serve them," said NKDEP Director Andrew S. Narva, M.D. "We want to make sure that everyone who is affected by kidney disease — patients, families and communities — are aware of our free materials and can access them quickly and easily."

NKDEP also offers a variety of outreach tools, including resources for faith-based groups such as the Kidney Sundays toolkit for African-American communities. Additionally, the NKDEP Family Reunion Initiative encourages African-American families to discuss kidney health at family gatherings.

"NKDEP offers great tools for healthcare providers to use when speaking to patients about kidney disease," said Anne Camp, M.D., diabetes program director at Fair Haven Community Health Center in New Haven, Conn. "I use their materials every day in my practice and have recommended them to colleagues in my clinic and at other health centers."

For individualized assistance with NKDEP materials, e-mail

To access the Get Involved resources go to


NKDEP is an initiative of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), one of the National Institutes of Health. NKDEP aims to raise awareness of the seriousness of kidney disease, the importance of testing those at high risk, and the availability of treatment to prevent or slow kidney failure. For more information about NKDEP, visit