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Free Health Screening at Kidney Action Day in Landover

The annual American Kidney Fund event spreads awareness of kidney disease

The DC metro area has a high incidence for kidney disease, according to the American Kidney Fund (Credit: Flickr/Ed Uthman)
The DC metro area has a high incidence for kidney disease, according to the American Kidney Fund (Credit: Flickr/Ed Uthman)

Who doesn’t like a free checkup? The American Kidney Fund is holding its annual Kidney Action Day at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday near FedEx Field in Landover. Local entertainment, interactive fitness demos and free health screenings are planned for the event.

“The DC area has a high incidence for kidney disease,” Tamara Ruggiero, American Kidney Fund Vice President of Public Affairs told Patch. Ethnic minority groups are most susceptible to the illness, according to Ruggiero. The Washington, D.C. metro area, with a population of over 5.5 million residents, has a 45 percent non-White population, according to 2012 U.S. Census data.

“It’s a silent and very serious condition most often preventable in most cases,” Ruggiero said, adding that diabetes and high blood pressure are two leading factors in the illness.

Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States, which killed about 45,000 people in 2011, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“High blood glucose levels can damage blood vessels all over the body, including the tiny blood vessels that do the kidneys’ filtering,” according to Dr. Robert C. Stanton, chief of nephrology at Joslin Diabetes Center. “When those tiny vessels are damaged, they can’t do the job correctly.”

The event is open to anyone over the age of 18 and no pre-registration is required. Free shuttles will be provided from the WMATA Blue Line at Morgan Boulevard station.

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