ENLARGE TEXT Normal Font Size Large Font Size

Send to a friend! 

Make my home page 





World Kidney Day - Thursday 12 March 2015
Annual event - 2nd Thursday in March

Word Kidney Day 2014 - Key Facts about chronic kidney disease and ageing

  • 1 in 5 people over 65 have chronic kidney disease (CKD). 
  • Less than 10% of people with chronic kidney disease are actually aware of it!
  • Kidney function gradually declines with age - about 10% of function is lost in each decade after the age of 40.
  • Once kidney function declines to below 60%, the complications of CKD begin to kick in with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, anaemia and other complications of kidney dysfunction.
  • Although decreased kidney function is common in elderly people, it always requires investigation as early detection can improve mortality and morbidity.
Around 600 million persons worldwide have some form of kidney damage. CKD, predicted to increase by 17% over the next decade, is now recognized as global public health issue. If detected early and managed appropriately, deterioration in kidney function can be slowed or even stopped - yet awareness of kidney diseases is still very low and many people underestimate the vital role their kidneys play.

Although CKD can occur at any age, it becomes more common with increasing age. After the age of 40, kidney filtration begins to fall by approximately 1% per year. On top of the natural aging of the kidneys, many conditions which damage the kidneys are more common in older people including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. This is important because CKD increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, and in some cases can progress to kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation.

Our resources
Kidney Health Education Resources>
Fast Facts on CKD in Australia>
World Kidney Day publication - Chronic Kidney Disease and aging population>

Water may protect your kidneys, but it won’t cure chronic kidney disease
The World Kidney Day group suggest you start your day with a glass of water as a symbolic gesture of support and take a 'selfie' drinking the water then upload it to www.worldkidneyday.org/drink-glass-water

TWEET IT @worldkidneyday with message: “I take care of my kidneys, I drink a #glassofwater or #isupportwkd”

FACEBOOK - World Kidney Day
Don’t have access to social media? Send your selfie to agnese@worldkidneyday.org and she will upload it for you - to register the number of glasses of water worldwide enjoyed World Kidney Day. We anticipate some unusual 'selfies'!


Kidney Diseases are Common, Harmful and Treatable
The prevalence of kidney disease is increasing dramatically and the cost of treating this growing epidemic represents an enormous burden on healthcare systems worldwide. Take our test www.checkmykidneys.com.au to see if you are 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

Symptoms of reduced kidney function

  • 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

To receive our monthly Kidney Community News email us at subscribe@kidney.org.au providing your name, address details and interest in CKD. Or call 1800 454 363 and our staff will sign you up, or simply subscribe from our home page.


Keep fit and active
Increase daily physical activity as it helps reduce your blood pressure and reduces your risk of CKD.

Maintain a health fluid intake
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
It is calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available and choosing to drink water instead will have a positive impact on your health. It can also contain fluoride which is good for teeth.
Refer to our page: Drink Water Instead!

Keep regular control of your blood sugar levels, blood lipids and anaemia
About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage, so it is important for people with diabetes to 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 our pages: Your heart and CKD * Diabetes and CKD

Monitor blood pressure, reduce if necessary
The lower the blood pressure, the slower your kidney function declines. Although many people are aware high blood pressure can lead to a stroke or heart attack, few know it is also the most common cause of kidney damage. High blood pressure is especially likely to cause kidney damage when associated with other factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Refer to our pages Your heart and CKD

Eat healthy and keep your weight in check
This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with CKD. Reduce salt intake - recommended salt intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (a teaspoon). In order to reduce your salt intake, try to limit the amount of processed and restaurant food and do not add salt to food. It will be easier to control your intake if you prepare the food yourself with fresh 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 your health, is to quit now!

Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis
Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly. Such medications probably do not pose significant danger if your kidneys are relatively healthy and you use them for emergencies only. 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. If concerned your medication may be affecting your health refer to Medicines Line 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424).


  • Raise awareness about the function of our amazing kidneys.
  • Highlight that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for CKD.
  • Encourage kidney risk assessment in all 'high risk' groups, especially anyone with diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Encourage preventive behaviour.
  • Educate medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of kidney disease, particularly in high risk populations.
  • Stress the important role of local and national 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, Governments are encouraged to take action to invest more in kidney prevention.
  • Encourage transplantation as a best-outcome option for kidney failure and organ donation as a life-saving initiative.


Global website www.worldkidneyday.org

World Kidney Day celebrated annually 2nd Thursday in March
Please note in your calendars - World Kidney Day 2015 will be Thursday 12 March 2015

Australia's World Kidney Day 2013 Protect your Kidneys - Save your Heart!

The presence of kidney dysfunction greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease - an important fact that is often overlooked! If you are at risk of kidney disease. See your doctor to discuss maintaining your heart health as well! Refer to our pages: Your heart and CKD * Diabetes and CKD.

Key Facts About Chronic Kidney Disease & Cardiovascular Disease
  • People at every stage of CKD are at more risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), although those in the later stages have the highest risk.
  • CVD remains the leading cause of death for people on dialysis and those who have a transplanted kidney.
  • People with CKD have a 2 to 3-fold greater risk of cardiac death than individuals without CKD.
  • For people with CKD, the risk of dying from cardiovascular events is up to 20 times greater than requiring dialysis or transplantation.
Keith DS, Nichols GA, Gullion CM, Brown JB, Smith DH. Longitudinal follow-up and outcomes among a population with chronic kidney disease in a large managed care organization. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2004;164:659-663

Foley RN, Parfrey PS, Sarnak MJ. Clinical epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in chronic renal disease. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 1998;32:S112-S119.
  • Identifying CKD early and slowing progression to kidney failure is important in reducing your risk of CVD.
Weiner ME, Tighiouarr H, Amin M et al. Chronic kidney disease as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: A pooled analysis of community-based studies. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2004;15:1307-131
  • The best way to reduce the risk of CVD is to make healthy lifestyle choices. It is also important to control and maintain a healthy blood pressure, cholesterol level, and blood glucose level if you have diabetes. If you have CKD, this usually means using medication as well as having a healthy lifestyle.

Page updated 20 August 2014

World Kidney Day Resources Minimize
World Kidney Day promo poster 2014Display poster in health education area for World Kidney Day
World Kidney Day 2014 Key Facts 
World Kidney Day 2014 - KHA Support Kit 
Publication World Kidney Day 2014: CKD and the aging population World Kidney Day Thursday 13 March 2014
  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: Aug 2014.