National Kidney Foundation and Award-Winning Actress Debbie Allen Partner with Bayer to Launch New Joint Initiative to Educate on the Increased Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease in People with Type 2 Diabetes

  • Initiative Marks New Phase of the NKF “Are You the 33%?” National Kidney Disease Awareness Campaign

WHIPPANY, N.J.--()--Bayer and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) today announced that award-winning actress, Debbie Allen, has joined the “Are You the 33%?” national public awareness campaign to focus attention on the increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), also referred to as kidney disease, in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D).1 This marks the newest phase of the campaign, which was first launched in March 2020, to raise awareness among the 1 in 3 people at risk for developing chronic kidney disease and to encourage dialogue with their doctors to help improve early diagnosis and intervention. Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for developing CKD.2 As part of the campaign, the National Kidney Foundation, Debbie Allen and Bayer are urging people living with T2D to go to to take a simple one-minute risk assessment quiz and follow up with their doctor to be tested for CKD.

“Despite all my years of dancing and being careful about my diet to reduce my chance of getting type 2 diabetes, I was recently diagnosed with pre-diabetes. From my dad, grandfather, aunts and uncle, this disease has shaped my family, so I know it puts me at an increased risk for chronic kidney disease,” said Debbie Allen, campaign spokesperson. “After learning of my diagnosis, I wanted to do my part to help others with clear, actionable steps. Too many people don’t know that living with type 2 diabetes can lead to chronic kidney disease and life-threatening complications. Join me to learn your risk before it’s too late.”

Getting tested is the only way for people to know for sure if they have CKD.3 Both blood and urine tests show how well the kidneys are functioning.3 A specific urine test for CKD, called uACR test, can tell if there is damage to the kidneys by detecting how much small protein, called albumin, is in urine.4 This test gives people one of the earliest signs of CKD, and should be taken once a year if you have T2D.5 A calculated blood test, called eGFR, is used to diagnose CKD by measuring how well kidneys remove waste from the body.4 There are also steps, including dietary and other lifestyle changes, that may help slow the progression of CKD, which could lead to dialysis, kidney transplant and heart problems, if left untreated.6

“With 33 percent of all adults in the United States at risk for developing kidney disease, it’s like saying 1 out of every 3 dancers, like Debbie Allen, in a performance is at risk.3 We urgently need to transform understanding risk into action to protect kidney health,” said Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, National Kidney Foundation. “With Debbie’s personal story and advocacy, we want to help the millions of Americans who have type 2 diabetes – those at highest risk for developing kidney disease – by talking to their doctor to learn if testing and other treatments are right for them.”7

“Bayer and the National Kidney Foundation share the common goal of improving health outcomes for people living with chronic kidney disease – a serious and progressive disease affecting millions around the world,”3 said Amit Sharma, Vice President of Cardiovascular and Renal, U.S. Medical Affairs at Bayer Pharmaceuticals. “This latest educational initiative with Debbie Allen adds to our strong and productive history supporting the National Kidney Foundation, and will undoubtedly have a significant impact on educating and empowering people with type 2 diabetes to speak with their healthcare provider to learn their risk and take an appropriate course of action.”

People with T2D also have a unique opportunity to attend a virtual fireside chat to hear Debbie Allen’s personal story first-hand, as well as from a person living with CKD and T2D. National Kidney Foundation’s chief medical officer, Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, will also be sharing important information about CKD risk in T2D. Participants will have the opportunity to ask the speakers their own questions via a chat function. Registration details and dates can be found HERE.

To learn more about the “Are You the 33%?” campaign, visit and join in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #MinuteForYourKidneys.

About Chronic Kidney Disease

In the United States (U.S), 37 million adults are estimated to have CKD, and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it.3 Risk factors for CKD include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history.3 People who are Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander are at increased risk for developing CKD.8 Black or African American people are almost 4 times more likely than Caucasians to have kidney failure, which is when dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed to survive.6,8 Hispanic or Latino people are 1.3 times more likely than Caucasians to have kidney failure.8 Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure.9

People with CKD and T2D are also 3 times more likely to die from a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, than people who have only T2D.10 Early diagnosis and intervention can be critical in slowing the progression of disease and improving health outcomes.2 For those living with T2D, it’s important to know if they have CKD so they have time to get ahead of any further damage to their kidneys and other organs, including the heart.3

About NKF

The National Kidney Foundation is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

1 National Kidney Foundation. Diabetes - A Major Risk Factor for Kidney Disease. 2020. Available at: Accessed on October 16, 2020.
2 International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes and the Kidneys. 2020. Available at: Accessed on November 17, 2020.
3 Center for Disease Control. Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States, 2019. 2019. Available at: Accessed on November 17, 2020.
4 NIDDK. Chronic Kidney Disease Tests & Diagnosis. 2016. Available at: Accessed on November 17, 2020.
5 Know Your Kidney Numbers: Two Simple Tests. 2017. Available at: Accessed on November 17, 2020.
6 American Kidney Fund—Stages of CKD. 2020. Available at: Accessed on November 17, 2020.
7 Center for Disease Control. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020. 2020. Available at: Accessed on Accessed on November 17, 2020.
8 National Kidney Foundation. Race, Ethnicity, and Kidney Disease. 2020. Available at: Accessed on December 7, 2020.
9 National Kidney Foundation—Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease. Available at:
10 Afkarian M, et al. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013; 24:302-308.


Media Contacts:
NKF: Julie Kimbrough, 347-504-3452,
Bayer, U.S. Corporate Communications: David Patti, +1-973-452-6793,

Release Summary

NKF Bayer Joint Initiative T2D and CKD


Media Contacts:
NKF: Julie Kimbrough, 347-504-3452,
Bayer, U.S. Corporate Communications: David Patti, +1-973-452-6793,