Chronic kidney disease (CKD) heightens risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), independent of diabetes, hypertension or any other conventional CVD risk factors. So protecting your kidneys may help save your heart as well, according to an article in the Medical Journal of Australia.
The sixth World Kidney Day, to be held on 10 March 2011, will call attention to this underappreciated association.
AdvertisementProfessor William Couser, Co-chair of the World Kidney Day 2011 Steering Committee, said that until the past decade, most governments and public health authorities saw kidney disease as largely confined to patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
"Much has changed. We now appreciate that kidney disease is not rare — some 10 per cent of the population has evidence of renal dysfunction," Prof Couser said.
"We know these individuals are not of concern just because a few will progress to ESRD, but more because they carry a greatly enhanced risk of premature death from CVD, the single largest and most expensive health care threat we confront at a global level."
"Fortunately, there is good news as well," said Prof Couser. "Biomarkers of CKD are easy and relatively inexpensive to detect or estimate."
"There is now compelling evidence that including selective screening for CKD in global health programs designed primarily to reduce CVD may significantly improve the outcomes of not only renal disease but especially the non-communicable diseases like diabetes and CVD that dominate future health care strategies."
"However, effective implementation of such strategies will only come when both the general public and the renal community work together to convince health authorities that it is in the public interest to do this," said Prof Couser.
The Medical Journal of Australia is a publication of the Australian Medical Association.