Kidney Foundation draws attention to the urgent need for early detection of chronic kidney disease on World Kidney Day



    MONTREAL, March 1 /CNW Telbec/ - On March 8, 2007, The Kidney Foundation
of Canada will mark World Kidney Day by urging Canadians to act now to take
care of their kidneys.
    "Few people are aware of the vital role that kidneys play in overall
health," notes Niloufer Bhesania, National President of the Foundation. "And
for those with major risk factors such as diabetes or high blood pressure, it
is even more important to know the warning signs and to get tested regularly."
    An estimated two million Canadians have chronic kidney disease, or are at
risk of developing it. Undetected and left untreated, it can lead to kidney
failure requiring dialysis or a transplant. However, in many cases,
progression to end-stage disease can be prevented or delayed by treating the
risk factors.
    The theme of World Kidney Day 2007 is "Are your kidneys ok?" The Kidney
Foundation of Canada, a member of the International Federation of Kidney
Foundations that is jointly spearheading this effort with the International
Society of Nephrology, will be hosting a variety of events to raise awareness
and to promote screening of populations at risk.
    "An educated public committed to kidney health is one of the Foundation's
key priorities over the next five years," says Bhesania. "So the theme is
particularly fitting."
    In concert with the Foundation's public education strategy, The Canadian
Society of Nephrology (CSN) has recently issued recommendations that will
provide guidance to healthcare professionals for the care and referral of
their patients who have reduced kidney function.
    Dr. Brendan Barrett, President of the CSN, explains the importance of
this synergy. "We need to ensure that there is alignment of health systems and
health professionals with the messages intended for the publics at risk.
That's when you can really have a major impact on public health."
    The Foundation joins with the CSN in encouraging Canadians, particularly
those at risk, to ask the question: "Are my kidneys ok?"

    The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national volunteer organization
committed to kidney health and to improving the lives of all Canadians
affected by kidney disease.

    The Canadian Society of Nephrology is the national society of physicians
and scientists specializing in the care of people with kidney disease, and in
research related to the kidney and kidney disease.

    Are you at risk for kidney disease?

    If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or if you have a family member
whose kidneys have failed, you are at greater risk for kidney disease. Certain
ethnic groups, including first nation's peoples are also considered to be at
higher risk.
    If you belong to one of the above risk groups, The Kidney Foundation of
Canada encourages you to:

    
    - Discuss your blood pressure target with your doctor who will recommend
      therapies and dietary and lifestyle changes to help you achieve your
      goal
    - Keep blood sugar as close to normal as possible - you will minimize
      your chances of developing diabetic kidney disease
    - Ask your doctor about a lab test known as estimated glomerular
      filtration rate (eGFR). This test is widely seen as the most effective
      way to detect kidney disease in its earliest stages - when it is more
      treatable.
    - Be sure to get tested regularly. This will help you and your doctor to
      monitor your kidney function, which may change over time
    - Continue to manage your blood sugar and high blood pressure carefully,
      even if your kidneys are healthy or if your loss of kidney function is
      non-progressive.
    




For further information:

For further information: Marlene Shoucair, Director, National
Communications, (800) 361-7494, ext. 222

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Kidney Foundation of Canada

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