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Introducing AMKD Awareness Day: Shedding Light on APOL1-Mediated Kidney Disease

Posted at 9:32 AM, Apr 30, 2024

Disclaimer: This Inside South Florida segment is sponsored by American Kidney Fund. All opinions and views are of the advertiser and does not reflect the same of WSFL-TV.

Lavarne Addison Burton and Dr. Silas Prescod Norman from the American Kidney Fund recently joined Inside South Florida to discuss the significance of AMKD Awareness Day, set to be observed for the first time on April 30th. AMKD, short for APOL1-Mediated Kidney Disease, is a condition stemming from variants in the APOL1 gene, particularly prevalent in individuals with ancestry from West or Central Africa.

During the interview, Lavarne and Dr. Norman emphasized the importance of raising awareness about AMKD and its disproportionate impact on communities of color. They highlighted that African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, and some Latinos face a higher risk of carrying APOL1 variants, putting them at increased risk of kidney failure. Dr. Norman emphasized systemic issues such as social determinants of health, racial biases in the medical system, and delayed access to specialist care as significant contributors to the disparities observed.

In terms of prevention, Lavarne and Dr. Norman stressed the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. They also highlighted the significance of genetic testing for individuals from high-risk populations to assess their susceptibility to APOL1-mediated kidney disease.

To access more information about genetic testing and kidney health, individuals are encouraged to consult their physicians, genetic counselors, or visit the American Kidney Fund's website at KidneyFund.org/APOL1aware. By spreading awareness about AMKD, Lavarne and Dr. Norman hope to empower individuals to take proactive steps to safeguard their kidney health.

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

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