Aussies urged to take two-minute test that could save your life

One of Australia’s leading kidney health advocacy groups is urging people to take a simple, two-minute online test to see if you are at risk of developing kidney disease.

Do you know how to check for signs of kidney disease? It’s okay if you don’t, most people are in the same boat.

Some of you may have answered that looking for changes in your urine could reveal the presence of kidney disease. This is correct, but Kidney Health Australia (KHA) says by the time this symptom appears, it may already be too late.

It’s Kidney Health Week this week (21-27 May) and, according to KHA, around one in 10 people in Australia (approximately two million) have kidney disease. Most are unaware of it.

This is because kidney disease doesn’t present with visible symptoms, at least not until the condition becomes more advanced.

“Kidney disease has no symptoms and 90 per cent of kidney function can be lost without warning, meaning diagnosis is often too late and little can be done at that late stage to avoid kidney failure,” KHA says.

“However, early detection can slow or even stop the progression of this insidious, incurable, and deadly disease.”

To raise public levels of awareness, KHA is calling on Australians to do a simple two-minute online test, answering a series of questions about your health and lifestyle, to get an idea of your risk profile.

Three out of four Australians are at risk of kidney disease, with the highest contributing factors being diabetes and high blood pressure.

Nephrologist Dr Karen Dwyer, clinical director at KHA, says now more than ever people should be checking their kidney health as early as possible.

“For the first time in 20 years, there are new treatments for kidney disease that can slow down the progression to kidney failure,” she says.

“Early detection has never been more important. We have a unique opportunity to change the future for so many Australians. The best thing you can do this Kidney Health Week, is find out if you are one of the three in four Aussies at risk of kidney disease and, if so, get a kidney health check with your GP.”

Dr Dwyer says the new treatments can slow the progression of chronic kidney disease by up to 15 years.

Your kidney is responsible for clearing toxins and other waste products from your blood. And any loss of function can lead to these substances remaining in your body, effectively poisoning you.

Chronic kidney disease kills around 66 Australians daily and is responsible for one in six hospital admissions. KHA also says kidney disease is an underlying cause in approximately 11 per cent of deaths in Australia.

KHA statistics also show that the number of Australians receiving either dialysis or a kidney transplant has more than doubled between 2000 and 2020 from 11,700 to 27,702.

Have you ever had your kidney health checked? Will you try the online test? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: New tool to measure bone age may save lives

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


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