National Kidney Month: Celebrating the Kidney Community

There are an estimated 39 million American adults living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and most (9 in 10) are unaware of their diagnosis. CKD is often overlooked until symptoms appear, which is why it’s especially important to be aware of risk factors and the potentially serious associated conditions that can occur.

As an underrecognized public health issue, we at AstraZeneca are committed to improving CKD awareness and education among patients and the medical community. As part of this commitment, we’re proud to work with a number of professional and patient advocacy organizations fueled by this same passion.

In celebration of National Kidney Month, we asked members of the renal advocacy community who work tirelessly to improve patient outcomes to share a few thoughts on what Kidney Month means to them.

“There are more than 130,000 people diagnosed with kidney failure in the U.S. annually. It is a life-altering condition that imposes enormous physical, emotional and financial burdens. AKF is marking its 50th anniversary this year, and our mission has always been fueled by a passion for helping patients live better, healthier and longer lives. For us, Kidney Month 2021 is a time to honor important milestones in the lives of people with kidney disease. It is also a time to bring public attention and focus to what people with kidney disease are looking for: the innovation, research funding and legislative actions that have the power to change the trajectory of this disease.” ­– LaVarne Burton, President and CEO, American Kidney Fund (AKF)

"AAKP was founded in 1969 by six idealistic dialysis patients who knew the lifesaving treatment they received should become a care choice, under federal law, to any American suffering kidney failure - regardless of their race, beliefs, or social background. During National Kidney Month, we honor their heroic efforts to push Congress to pass modern dialysis coverage, which has saved over a one million Americans. Today, AAKP is the largest kidney patient advocacy organization in the nation and a relentless advocate for innovations in kidney diagnostics, biologics, and devices designed to give all patients greater care choice and the capacity to achieve their life aspirations despite this deadly disease.” –  Richard Knightformer dialysis patient, current transplant recipient, President, American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP)

“Unfortunately, many Americans learn about their kidney disease for the first time in the Emergency Room, when they are told they no longer have any kidney function and need to start on dialysis (or secure a kidney transplant in order to survive). National Kidney Month helps us raise public awareness, as many individuals can slow the progression of their kidney disease and hopefully avoid kidney failure entirely. It is also a time for us to reflect on the terrible health disparities in our country and how much more exaggerated those numbers are when it comes to kidney disease.  We are deeply thankful to AstraZeneca for its ongoing partnership in helping us increase public awareness, while we also work together on health equity issues for kidney disease patients." – Hrant JamgochianChief Executive Officer, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC)

"NKF or the National Kidney Foundation observes National Kidney Month, a month to build awareness about the importance of understanding your kidney health, as well as reducing the impact of kidney disease globally. Everyone needs to know about kidney disease, but especially if you have any one of the five risk factors – diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and a family history of kidney disease. Take a simple, one minute quiz at to find out if you’re at risk.” – Kevin LonginoChief Executive Officer, National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and a kidney transplant patient

"National Kidney month is important to the RPA and the broader kidney community because it helps raise awareness of kidney disease which needs greater attention than it receives. The hope of the RPA is that we will see more people who need renal replacement therapy get transplants or perform dialysis at home but most importantly that we will be able to prevent more people from needing a transplant or dialysis. Our dream is that one day we will be able to prevent kidney failure and therefore, no one will require dialysis or a kidney transplant.” – Jeffrey Perlmutter, MD, President, Renal Physicians Association (RPA)

"National Kidney Month shines a much-needed light on kidney disease. It helps raise awareness of the general public, many of whom could have kidney disease and likely do not know. I have lived with kidney disease since the age of two. I want to help people know the warning signs of this disease and the importance of knowing what questions to ask your doctor.” – Lori HartwellFounder and President, Renal Support Network (RSN)

Inspired every day to continue revolutionizing kidney care, AstraZeneca supports all CKD warriors to take control of their disease and improve their overall wellbeing and vitality. We encourage you to visit to learn more about the community we’re building to facilitate open and honest conversations between CKD warriors and their doctors about CKD and its associated conditions, including anemia and hyperkalemia.