Kidney disease often goes unchecked

DESPITE one in three Australians being at high risk of kidney disease, the chronic illness remains low on the health radar of many people, chief executive of Kidney Health Australia, Anne Wilson says.

Launching Kidney Health Week in Canberra on Thursday, Ms Wilson said smokers, indigenous Australians, diabetics and people with high blood pressure were at higher risk of kidney disease.

In Australia there are currently 11,000 people on dialysis, more than 1000 waiting for a kidney transplant and more than 54 die of the disease every day.

Ms Wilson said despite the confronting statistics, the chronic disease often went unchecked.

"Improved early detection is the key to tackling chronic kidney disease, especially as our population ages, and more people enter high risk categories," she said.

She said that while the disease was common, it was treatable if caught early, and if found early, many people could extend the life of their kidneys.

Kidney Health Australia encourages people to talk to their general practitioner about the disease.



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