Amazing Kidneys at Risk! - Support Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Early Detection and Management

    Contact: Irene Aguzzi, Manager, National Public Affairs
    514-369-4806, ext. 227

    MONTREAL, March 11 /CNW Telbec/ - March 13, 2008 marks the third World
Kidney Day (WKD) and falls within Kidney Health Month in Canada. This year's
theme, as proclaimed by the International Federation of Kidney Foundations
(IFKF) is "Amazing Kidneys!". It's a reminder that this humble organ is just
as vital to our health as the heart and lungs; and a call to raise awareness
of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which places our amazing kidneys at risk!

                   "CKD is common, harmful and treatable."
    Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes position statement available at

    Canada needs a CKD Early Detection and Management Strategy

    Here's why:
      - An estimated 2 million Canadians have chronic kidney disease, or are
        at risk of developing it; and most don't know it.
      - Earlier treatment can prevent or delay complications of decreased
        kidney function and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the
        leading cause of death in Canada.
      - There is now convincing evidence that CKD can be detected using
        simple lab tests.

    Janet Bick is Director of Policy and Programs at the Ontario Branch of The
Kidney Foundation of Canada. Her father and brother were diagnosed with kidney
problems in the 1960s, at a time when no treatment options were available to
them. By the time she required treatment in the 1970s, transplantation saved
her life.
    "In less than 50 years we've gone from a place where people with kidney
disease died ? and that's all there was to it ? to a place where Canadians
have access to life-saving kidney treatments," says Janet. Now, 30 years
later, with a still functioning transplant, she notes: "I think improving
early detection and management of chronic disease needs to be increasingly
highlighted and addressed."

    Know your GFR

    Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a measurement of the kidney's ability
to filter waste products. A low GFR is an indication of reduced kidney
function. Estimated GFR is calculated using a formula based on age, gender and
the result of a blood test (serum creatinine) to estimate kidney function.
    "Estimated GFR is the most useful measurement of kidney function available
to doctors," says Dr. Julian Midgley, Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee
of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. "People at risk for kidney disease should
know their GFR just as people at risk for cardiovascular disease know their
blood pressure."

    Kidney health is a shared responsibility

    "Having healthy kidneys is an amazing gift; but ensuring kidney health is
a shared responsibility," stresses Foundation President, Niloufer Bhesania.
"That is why the Foundation supports early detection and prevention programs
and works with health professionals and associations to educate the public
about the significance of monitoring kidney health."

    World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Federation of
Kidney Foundations (IFKF) and the International Society of Nephrology (ISN).
The IFKF fosters international collaboration and exchange of ideas to improve
the health, well being and quality of life of individuals with kidney disease.
The ISN aspires towards the elimination of kidney disease worldwide and
promotes the global advancement of nephrology. 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.

    The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national volunteer organization
    committed to reducing the burden of kidney disease through funding and
    stimulating innovative research; providing education and support;
    promoting access to high quality healthcare, and increasing public
    awareness and commitment to advancing kidney health and organ donation.


    What do kidneys do?
      - They produce hormones that regulate important functions such as blood
      - They also regulate the levels of water and minerals in the body.
      - Most importantly, they remove waste products from the blood: without
        properly functioning kidneys, a person can die within days.

    What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?
      - CKD is the presence of kidney damage, or a decreased level of kidney
        function, for a period of three months or more.
      - It can be divided into five stages, depending on the severity of the
        damage to the kidneys or the level of decrease in kidney function.
      - The fifth or final stage of kidney disease is known as End Stage
        Renal Disease (ESRD) and refers to the 'end' of kidney function, when
        kidneys are working to less than 15% of their normal function. To
        sustain life at this stage, dialysis or kidney transplantation is

    What are the warning Signs of CKD?
      - High blood pressure (hypertension)
      - Puffiness of the eyes, hands and feet
      - Bloody, cloudy or tea-coloured urine
      - Presence of protein in the urine
      - Excessive foaming of the urine
      - Frequent urination during the night
      - Fatigue, difficulty concentrating
      - Loss of appetite or weight
      - Persistent generalized itching

    Who is at risk?
      - Persons with diabetes
      - Persons with high blood pressure
      - Persons with a family member whose kidneys have failed
      - Certain populations, notably Aboriginal, Asian, South Asian, Pacific
        Island, African/Caribbean and Hispanic

For further information:

For further information: about Chronic Kidney Disease awareness
activities in your local community, or in the global community, for World
Kidney Day 2008, visit or or contact:
Northern Alberta (Edmonton): Barbara Foxall, (780) 451-6900; Southern Alberta
(Calgary): Jodi Currie, (403) 255-6108 ext. 35, 1-800-268-1177; British
Columbia: Pauline Buck, (604) 736-9775; Manitoba: Val Dunphy, (204) 989-0804;
New Brunswick: Anne Henderson, (506) 328-9173; Newfoundland: Theresa Horvath,
(709) 753-8999; Nova Scotia: Michelle McCann, (902) 429-0906, Toll Free
1-800-889-5557, ext. 4; Ontario (Toronto): Wendy Kudeba, (416) 445-0373, ext.
242; Prince Edward Island: Joe McCabe, (902) 892-9009; Quebec: Caroline
Duguay, (514) 938-5518, ext. 225; Saskatchewan: Sheri H Smith, (306) 664-8588,
ext. 22; National Public Affairs, (514) 369-4806, ext. 227, 1-800-361-7494

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Kidney Foundation of Canada

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