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National Campaign Targets High Potassium Threat to Kidney Patients

May 10, 2024

Jennifer Rate
Director, Communications and Digital Operations
(813) 400-2394

National Campaign Targets High Potassium Threat to Kidney Patients

5th Annual “Are You O-K+” Campaign Breaks Engagement Records

Washington, D.C.: The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the oldest and largest independent kidney patient consumer organization in the United States, announced the overwhelming success of its 2024 “Are You O-K+” campaign, which marked May 1 (5.1) as National High Potassium Awareness Day. The 2024 event exceeded all prior engagement records, reaching a national audience of more than 8 million comprised of kidney patients, families and care partners, kidney professionals, and the public.

Since 2020, AAKP has invested in the talent, databases, targeting technologies, and communications platforms necessary to simultaneously conduct multiple national patient engagement campaigns through its Center for Patient Research and Education. AAKP Executive Director Diana Clynes stated, “The 5th Annual ‘Are You O-K+’ campaign recognizing National High Potassium Awareness Day set a new 24-hour benchmark for AAKP’s capacity to reach millions of Americans through integrated and targeted traditional grassroots outreach tactics combined with sophisticated social media and email marketing platforms. AAKP will leverage the insights we gained as well as lessons learned from this campaign across our other national and state-level education and advocacy campaigns throughout 2024.”

As a national patient advocacy organization, AAKP defines kidney disease as both a national healthcare and workforce issue because its consequences for people include disability, job loss, economic dependency, and premature death. Over three million U.S. adults have experienced high potassium (hyperkalemia), and among those, over 48 percent had chronic kidney disease (CKD) and/or heart failure. AAKP believes high potassium is a critical health issue that warrants far greater prioritization from federal government health officials and the U.S. Congress. High potassium has devastating impacts and negatively affects overall health, lives, livelihoods, and economic security. The cost of care when a patient is impacted by high potassium poses significant costs to the healthcare system, insurers, including Medicare, and taxpayers.

Kidney patients are at an increased risk for hyperkalemia due to their decreased kidney function and an inability to excrete excess nutrients. Among these patients, potassium can accumulate to toxic levels, leading to serious health issues that may include an irregular heartbeat, heart attack, temporary paralysis, or even death. By using the scientific symbol for potassium, “K+,” along with the familiar phrase “Are You Ok,” this campaign is recognizable and empowers those with kidney diseases to monitor their potassium levels. A potassium level of 5.1 may be considered a sign of high potassium, making May 1 (5.1) a crucial date for annual awareness.

This awareness day was founded by the AAKP to bring the important topic of high potassium to the forefront of kidney patients’ minds. Since 2020, AAKP has been educating millions of people about the risks of hyperkalemia and the availability of innovative treatments to prevent the most devastating impact of this condition. For this year’s awareness campaign, AAKP continued to vigorously expand its reach and educational resources so kidney patients, their medical teams, and allies across the kidney community could support this national grassroots movement to continue to mark May 1 (5.1) as National High Potassium Awareness Day. The AAKP thanks its national patient volunteers for the spectacular use of their social media networks which led to our most successful campaign year to date and extends its appreciation to AstraZeneca for their continued support of this educational campaign.

“AstraZeneca is proud to continue its collaboration with the American Association of Kidney Patients on the 5th annual National High Potassium Awareness Day to help empower patients to take action on managing potassium levels. It is imperative to equip patients living with high potassium with the knowledge and resources necessary to make informed decisions alongside their provider and improve their overall well-being,” said Jay Sabbah, Executive Director, Marketing, AstraZeneca.

To access more potassium education, visit https://bit.ly/AAKPHighPotassium and www.areyouok.org. AAKP’s 2024 “Are You O-K+” live event from May 1 is currently available OnDemand. To learn how to get involved in 2025 campaign efforts, visit @AreYouOk5Point1 on Facebook, X, and Instagram.


Since 1969, The American Association of Kidney Patients has been a patient-led organization driving policy discussions on kidney patient care choice and medical innovation. Over the past decade, AAKP patient advocates have helped advance lifetime transplant drug coverage for kidney transplant recipients (2020); the Presidential Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health (2019); new job protections for living organ donors under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) via the U.S. Department of Labor (2018); and Congressional legislation allowing HIV-positive organ transplants for HIV-positive patients (2013). Follow AAKP on social media
at @kidneypatient on Facebook, @kidneypatients on X, and @kidneypatients on Instagram, and
visit www.aakp.org for more information