Are you at risk of kidney disease?

Are you at risk of kidney disease?

Kidney Health Australia is calling on adult Australians to take a simple two-minute online test to determine if they are at risk of developing kidney disease.

Of the two million Australian adults affected by kidney disease, 1.8 million are completely unaware of it – likely due to the lack of symptoms. However, an easy online test is available.

The online test developed by Kidney Health Australia can be taken anywhere, any time, and includes nine questions that help identify your risk of kidney disease.

The test will determine whether a follow-up appointment with your GP for a Kidney Health Check is recommended.

Three in four Australians are at risk of kidney disease with the highest contributing factors being diabetes and high blood pressure.

Kidney disease has no symptoms and 90 per cent of kidney function can be lost without warning, meaning diagnosis is often too late and little can be done at that late stage to avoid kidney failure. However, early detection can slow or even stop the progression of this insidious, incurable, and deadly disease.

Despite this, recent research found that Australians commonly associate early signs of kidney disease with changes to wee. This misconception can lead to fewer people getting their kidneys checked, waiting for symptoms that may not appear, and highlights the importance of this campaign.

Dr Karen Dwyer is a Nephrologist and Clinical Director at Kidney Health Australia.

“For the first time in 20 years, there are new treatments for kidney disease that can slow down the progression to kidney failure,” Dr Dwyer said.

“Early detection has never been more important – we have a unique opportunity to change the future for so many Australians.  The best thing you can do this Kidney Health Week, is find out if you are one of the three in four Aussies at risk of kidney disease and if so, get a Kidney Health Check with your GP.”

Kidney Health Australia’s recently released Deloitte Access Economics report highlighted that kidney disease is both a health issue and an economic issue for Australia.  The report outlines the need for investment into timely diagnosis and best practice management of chronic kidney disease.

Chronic kidney disease costs Australia $9.9 billion annually, $5.1 billion of which is attributed to lost productivity (reduced employment, absenteeism and presenteeism), with the total cost to the health care system estimated to be $2.3 billion.

According to the report, government investment in targeted early screening and diagnosis could help to avoid 38,200 premature deaths, and for every dollar spent, save the health system $45 in costs associated with managing kidney failure and associated cardiovascular disease over the next 20 years.

Kidney Health Week is 21 to 27 May. For more information visit the official website here.


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