With high blood pressure now the second most common cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the United States (behind only diabetes), Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) wants people to know that controlling their blood pressure can slow the progression of CKD, and help prevent heart disease and strokes in those who are on dialysis. This March during National Kidney Month, FMCNA, the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, is raising awareness about the widespread problem of high blood pressure, or hypertension, especially if left untreated. FMCNA also is calling attention to the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity for dialysis patients and those with hypertension by sponsoring a tour by Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. and his kidney-friendly “flavor of bold” recipes. For more information about FMCNA’s National Kidney Month recipes and activities, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com/kidneymonth. High blood pressure affects nearly one in three Americans, although many people don’t realize they have it because of its lack of signs or symptoms. Typically the result of hardened blood vessels or too much fluid in the blood, high blood pressure causes the heart to work harder. Over time, it increases the risk of heart disease and stroke and can damage blood vessels throughout the body, including those used by the kidneys to remove waste and extra fluid. The resulting kidney damage can lead to CKD and eventually kidney failure, which may be treated with renal transplant or dialysis. “Every year high blood pressure causes more than 32,000 new U.S. cases of kidney failure,” says Dr. Dugan W. Maddux, vice president of chronic kidney disease initiatives at FMCNA. “Fortunately, high blood pressure can be treated through medication, nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle changes. Awareness is critical if we are to reduce kidney failure due to hypertension.” Tips for Dialysis Patients with High Blood Pressure FMCNA recommends that people have their blood pressure tested. Dialysis patients with high blood pressure should work with their doctor and dialysis care team to develop a treatment plan, which may include:
• Consuming less sodium (salt).• Eating renal-friendly meals high in protein, and low in sugar, potassium and phosphorus. • Exercising for 30 minutes or more at least three times a week. • Quitting smoking, if you are a smoker. • Losing weight, if you are overweight. • Taking blood pressure medication, if prescribed. Dialysis is a life-sustaining process that cleans waste products and removes extra fluids from a person’s blood when CKD leads to kidney failure. For more information about dialysis facilities near you, call toll free at 1-888-325-5175. FMCNA is helping dialysis patients achieve better health outcomes through initiatives such as its “Strong Bones, Healthy Heart” program. It aims to improve patients’ bone and mineral metabolism, as well as blood pressure levels, by encouraging them to actively participate in developing and following meal, medication and treatment plans in close coordination with their families, physicians and dialysis staff. About Fresenius Medical Care North AmericaThrough our leading network of more than 2,100 dialysis facilities in North America and our vascular access centers, laboratory, pharmacy and affiliated hospitals and nephrology practices, Fresenius Medical Care provides renal services to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. We are also the continent’s top producer of dialysis equipment, dialyzers and related disposable products and a major supplier of renal pharmaceuticals. For more information about the company, visit www.fmcna.com; for information about patient services, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com.