Hypertension Screenings Help Prevent Kidney Disease

Tulane School of Medicine students and doctors were among the many healthcare professionals who volunteered to conduct free blood pressure and kidney health screenings as part of World Kidney Day 2010 that focused on hypertension (high blood pressure) as a leading cause of kidney disease.

Dr. Torrance Green, a graduate student in the Department of Physiology, left, and medical student Chris Terndrup discuss patient records as they volunteer at a free hypertension screening. (Photo by Arthur Nead)

This community health event at First Grace Methodist Church in New Orleans on Thursday (March 11) was organized by the National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana.

World Kidney Day is an international health awareness campaign that focuses on the importance of kidneys and on reducing chronic kidney disease and its associated health problems.

Every year, millions of people die of diseases linked to chronic kidney disease or have to be placed on dialysis or receive kidney transplants. The tragic fact is that kidney disease is one of the most common fatal yet treatable ailments and is associated with untreated high blood pressure and diabetes, says L. Gabriel Navar, co-director of the Tulane Hypertension and Renal Center of Excellence.

"Having regular kidney and blood pressure screening tests is the simplest and surest way to recognize the onset of kidney diseases and, if problems are detected and treated early, reduce the risks of chronic kidney disease leading to kidney failure," says Navar, professor and chair of the Department of Physiology.

Free screenings are offered periodically by the National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana. Appointments are necessary. Call 504-861-4500 to make an appointment.