Diabetes is the single leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S., accounting for about 44 percent of the people who start treatment for kidney failure each year. To help raise awareness of the links between diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD), Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, will be a speaker sponsor at the American Diabetes Association (the Association) EXPO Pittsburgh, to be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

More than 4,000 attendees are expected to attend the free EXPO event, which includes health screenings, cooking demonstrations, product and service exhibitors, along with leading experts talking about diabetes management and prevention. FMCNA will host an exhibit at Booth 519, and will also sponsor multiple presentations of " Chronic Kidney Disease: Are You at Risk?” in the booth classroom space.

This seminar will include an overview of FMCNA's Treatment Options Program (TOPs) education sessions, which are held across the U.S. for people at risk for CKD. Anyone with a family history of kidney disease or other risk factors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, is encouraged to attend. The sessions provide information about CKD management and the treatments available when it leads to kidney failure. Attendees will have the opportunity to register for a TOPs class offered near them.

"There is a strong correlation between diabetes and kidney disease, so people need to understand the symptoms and risk factors associated with CKD," said Laura Conaway, regional vice president, Fresenius Medical Care. "If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, it's especially important to get regular screenings and be more aware of your overall health."

CKD disproportionately affects African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians and senior citizens, and being overweight also increases the chances of developing CKD. There is an association because these groups are at higher risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.

"If you or a loved one has diabetes – or is at high risk of developing the disease – EXPO Pittsburgh provides a fun, relaxed environment to learn a great deal about the important aspects of prevention and management of diabetes and its serious complications," said Terri Seidman, associate director, American Diabetes Association, Western Pennsylvania Region. “We are particularly pleased to work with Fresenius Medical Care. Their support of EXPO Pittsburgh as a speaker sponsor provides the community a unique opportunity to learn about the seriousness of kidney disease, and to receive credible information and tools on prevention and management.”

Chronic kidney disease is a progressive, usually permanent loss of kidney function. When CKD leads to kidney failure, or end stage renal disease (ESRD), the only treatments are a kidney transplant or dialysis.

For more information on the American Diabetes Association EXPO Pittsburgh, go to www.diabetes.org/expopittsburgh.

About Fresenius Medical Care

Fresenius Medical Care is the world’s leading company devoted to patient-oriented renal therapy. Through more than 2,700 clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, we provide kidney dialysis treatments to approximately 210,000 patients worldwide. We are also the world's leading maker of dialysis products such as hemodialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposable products. Chronic kidney failure is a condition that affects about 1.9 million individuals worldwide.

For more information about the company’s more than 1,800 U.S. dialysis facilities, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com (in English and Spanish). For more information about Fresenius Medical Care, visit www.fmc-ag.com or www.fmcna.com.

About American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

Copyright Business Wire 2010