On World Kidney Day
U.S. Asked to Focus on Link with Heart Disease
Disease Education Program suggests at least 10 things people can do to
be kind to their kidneys - below news story more about kidney disease
March 10, 2011 -
More than 20 million adults, including millions of senior citizens, have
chronic kidney disease and an estimated 16.3 million or roughly 7
percent of adults — have heart disease. Over 7.1 million have
both. On World Kidney Day, Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., director of the
National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Diseases is asking people to consider the link, and
what they can do to protect kidney health.
As part of
National Kidney Month, the National Institutes of Health’s NKDEProgram suggests at least 10 things people can do to be kind to their
kidneys and to look out for family and friends. (See below)
Topping the list is
getting tested for kidney disease if you have diabetes, high blood
pressure, or a family history of kidney failure. Learn about the other
nine actions by visiting
programs help people understand their kidneys and how to protect them,
NIH researchers and those supported by NIH are working to better
understand why and how the kidneys become damaged and how to prevent the
disease and improve care:
Renal Insufficiency Cohort study is following nearly 4,000 adults to
identify factors associated with rapid progression of kidney disease and
the development or worsening of heart disease. What we learn from this
study is expected to help us identify ways to intervene.
Kidney Disease Biomarker Discovery and Validation Consortium is
developing blood and urine tests to better predict patients who will
have rapid progression of kidney disease or worsening of heart disease.
Learn more about
these NIH studies and others at
www.ClinicalTrials.gov. Participating in a clinical study is another
way people can help themselves, family and friends. And there are many
opportunities. Among the 85,000 studies listed, a recent search found
nearly 5,000 related to kidney disease and more than 12,000 related to
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of NIH,
conducts and supports basic and clinical research and research training
on some of the most common, severe and disabling conditions affecting
The institute's research interests include diabetes and other
endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition, and
obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. For more
Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency —
includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal
agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational
medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures
for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit
have two kidneys. They are bean-shaped, and
about the size of a fist. They are located in
the middle of your back, on the left and right
sides of your spine, just below your rib cage.
Their main job is to filter extra water and
wastes out of your blood and make urine. They
also help control blood pressure and make
hormones that your body needs to stay healthy.
disease—called kidney disease here for short—is a condition
in which the small blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged,
making the kidneys unable to do their job. Waste then builds
up in the blood, harming the body.
disease is most often caused by diabetes or high blood
Diabetes and high blood pressure damage the blood vessels in
the kidneys, so the kidneys are not able to filter the blood
as well as they used to. Usually this damage happens slowly,
over many years. As more and more blood vessels are damaged,
the kidneys eventually stop working.
factors for kidney disease are cardiovascular (heart)
disease and a family history of kidney failure. If you have
any of these risk factors, you should get tested for kidney
kidney disease has no symptoms
That means you can’t feel that you have it. In fact, you
might feel just fine until your kidneys have almost stopped
working. Don’t wait for symptoms. Blood and urine tests are
the only way to know if you have kidney disease. A blood
test measures your GFR and a urine test checks for protein.
Learn more about tests for kidney disease.
disease can be treated if detected early.
The right treatment can help prevent further kidney damage
and slow down kidney disease. The earlier kidney disease is
found, the sooner you can take medications, called ACE
inhibitors or ARBs, and other steps that can keep your
kidneys healthy longer.
Learn more about how to keep your kidneys healthy.
disease is progressive.
Kidney disease does not go away. Instead, it usually gets
worse over time. Kidney disease can turn into kidney
failure, at which point dialysis or a kidney transplant is
needed. Kidney disease can also lead to heart disease.
Learn more about what happens if your kidneys fail.
the first step
If you are at risk, get your blood and urine checked for
is an initiative of the National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes
of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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