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Did you know that almost 1 in 5 (18%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have signs of chronic kidney disease?
Although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders represent less than 2.5% of the national population, they account for approximately 9% of people commencing kidney replacement therapy each year.

Media 26 March 2015: Kidney disease is a silent killer of Indigenous Australians
Kidney disease impacts regardless of locality and people often have few symptoms until they need to have dialysis. To mark World Kidney Day, Kidney Health Australia was joined by the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology to highlight the critical impact of chronic kidney disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Media>

Need to order our resources - call our Kidney Health Information Service: freecall 1800 454 363
Print A3 display poster - Australian World Kidney Day 2015 - Kidney Health For All Australians
Education  - Our Resources * Fast Facts on CKD in Australia * CKD in Indigenous Australian Statistics

The 11th global World Kidney Day will be held on Thursday 10 March 2016 - worldkidneyday.org


Drink to satisfy thirst - water is the recommended fluid!

Fresh supplies of fluid are needed every day for our kidney's normal functions, however, there is no set amount to drink each day to avoid dehydration.

Water is the recommended fluid to satisfy thirst and is nature's choice. It is calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available and choosing to drink water instead will have a positive impact on your health. Find out more onsite - Drink water instead>

Start your day with a glass of water as a symbolic gesture of support for World Kidney Day, to remember that you should care for your kidneys, a vital organ for life. Take a simple or creative 'selfie' of you drinking water, or as a group. Have fun and be part of the global event - upload photo at worldkidneyday.org/get-involved/drink-a-glass-of-water

Don’t have access to social media? Register your glass of water on World Kidney Day - email photo: info@worldkidneyday.org

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World Kidney Day publication 2015: Chronic kidney disease in disadvantaged populations

Campaign Coordinator, ISN Global Operations Center, Rues de Fabriques 1, B-1000, Brussels, Belgium


Kidney Disease is Common, Harmful and Treatable
Kidney disease is increasing dramatically and the cost of treating this growing epidemic represents an enormous burden on healthcare systems globally. Taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle clearly helps to reduce risk, and early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Take our test checkmykidneys.com.au - are you at increased risk?

If you are at 'increased risk' and tick YES to any of the following.....
  • are 60 years or older
  • have diabetes 
  • have high blood pressure
  • have established heart problems (heart failure or past heart attack) and/or have had a stroke
  • have a family history of kidney disease
  • are obese (Body Mass Index BMI - of 30 or more)
  • are a smoker
  • are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin

..... then you should talk to your GP and ask for a Kidney Health Check>

There are no warning signs for chronic kidney disease and individuals can lose up to 90% of their kidney function before they feel any symptoms - and by then it's too late.

Symptoms of reduced kidney function may include:

  • high blood pressure 
  • changes in the amount and number of times urine is passed, e.g. at night
  • changes in the appearance of urine
  • blood in the urine
  • puffiness e.g. legs and ankles
  • pain in the kidney area
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty sleeping
  • headaches
  • lack of concentration
  • itching
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea and vomiting
  • bad breath and a metallic taste in the mouth 
Keep fit and active
Increase daily physical activity as it helps reduce your blood pressure and reduces your risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.

Maintain a health fluid intake and stay hydrated
Fluid regulates your body’s temperature through perspiration, the kidney removes waste via urine and carries nutrients and other substances throughout the body. Fresh supplies of fluid are needed every day, however, there is no set amount to drink each day to avoid dehydration.

Water is the recommended fluid to satisfy thirst and is nature's choice - calorie-free, cheap, readily available. Fresh supplies of fluid are needed every day, however, there is no set amount to drink each day to avoid dehydration. Choosing to drink water instead will have a positive impact on your health. It may also contain fluoride which is good for teeth. Listen to your thirst - and keep in mind that the right level of fluid intake for an individual depends on many factors including gender, exercise, climate, health, pregnancy and breast feeding. People who have already had a kidney stone are advised to drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily to lessen the risk of forming a new stone. Refer Drink water instead.

Keep regular control of your blood sugar levels
About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage. People with diabetes must ensure they have regular tests to check their kidney function. Kidney damage from diabetes can be reduced or prevented, if detected early. It is important to keep control of blood sugar levels with the help of doctor or pharmacist. Refer to site pages: Your heart and CKD * Diabetes and CKD.

Monitor blood pressure, reduce if necessary
The lower your blood pressure, the slower your kidney function declines. Although many people are aware high blood pressure can lead to stroke or heart attack, few know high blood pressure is the most common cause of kidney damage. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage if you have diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

Eat healthy and keep your weight in check
Help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with CKD by reducing salt intake - recommended 5-6 grams of salt per day (a teaspoon). In order to reduce salt intake, try to limit the amount of processed and restaurant food consumed and do not add salt to food. It is easier to control salt intake if you prepare your meals yourself using fresh and seasonal ingredients.

Do not smoke
Smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. When less blood reaches the kidneys, smoking limits the kidney's ability to function properly. Smoking also increases the risk of kidney cancer by about 50%! If you smoke - best thing to do for best health, is to quit now!

Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis
Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly. Such medications may not pose significant danger if your kidneys are relatively healthy and you use these for emergencies only. But if you are dealing with chronic pain such as arthritis or back pain, work with your doctor to find a way to control your pain without putting your kidneys at risk. For advice contact: Medicines Line 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424).

Get your kidney function tested if you have one or more of the 'high risk' factors.
Talk to your GP and ask for a Kidney Health Check>


World Kidney Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. Its objectives are to:

  • raise awareness about our “amazing kidneys” and highlight that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for chronic kidney disease.
  • encourage systematic screening of all patients with diabetes and hypertension for CKD.
  • encourage preventive behaviour.
  • educate all medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD, particularly in high risk populations.
  • stress the important role of local and national health authorities in controlling the CKD epidemic. Health authorities worldwide will have to deal with high and escalating costs if no action is taken to treat the growing number of people with CKD. On World Kidney Day all governments are encouraged to take action and invest in further kidney screening.
  • encourage transplantation as a best-outcome option for kidney failure, and the act of organ donation as a life-saving initiative.

If detected early, chronic kidney disease can be treated - thereby reducing other complications and dramatically reduce the growing burden of deaths and disability from chronic renal and cardiovascular disease worldwide.

World Kidney Day started in 2006 - with these campaign themes:

  • 2015   Kidney Health for All
  • 2014   Chronic Kidney Disease and aging
  • 2013   Kidneys for Life – Stop Kidney Attack!
  • 2012   Donate – Kidneys for Life – Receive
  • 2011   Protect your kidneys: Save your heart
  • 2010   Protect your kidneys: Control diabetes
  • 2009   Protect your kidneys: Keep your pressure down
  • 2008   Our amazing kidneys!
  • 2007   CKD: Common, harmful and treatable
  • 2006   Are your kidneys OK?

World Kidney Day held annually 2nd Thursday in March - worldkidneyday.org



Page updated 22 July 2015
World Kidney Day Resources Minimize
World Kidney Day 2015 - Kidney Health for all Australians posterDownload colour poster and print - A3/A4
World Kidney Day 2015 - Kidney Health for AllInfographic supporting theme for WKD 2015
  The material contained on this site does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for information purposes only. Published by Kidney Health Australia. Privacy Policy. For information about website content please contact the National Communications Manager.

© 2008 Kidney Health Australia

Last updated: Oct 2015.