Vancouver – One in 10: the same odds of coming down with the flu. But many don't realize there's also a one-in-ten chance they have some level of kidney disease.
And while those with the flu know what their bodies are telling them, unfortunately most people with early kidney disease won't know they have it until their kidneys begin to fail.
March is Kidney Health month in Canada and the BC Renal Agency is reminding people about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. Early intervention can significantly delay and sometimes even prevent the onset of kidney failure and the eventual need for dialysis or a transplant.
"A healthy lifestyle goes a long way toward reducing the chances of developing kidney disease and other chronic illnesses," said Health Minister Terry Lake. "That is why our government continues to establish new programs and strategies to make the healthy choice the easy choice."
Healthy Families BC is the B.C. government's strategy to improve the health and wellness of British Columbians. Programs such as Informed Dining and the Smoking Cessation program provide individuals with access to information and tools to help reduce the odds of chronic illnesses like kidney disease. For more information, visit www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca.
The BC Renal Agency has online resources to help British Columbians learn more about their risk for developing kidney disease, including an online kidney disease self-assessment tool. More information is available at www.kidneysmart.com.
- Simple blood and urine tests will reveal if someone is a "one-in-ten."
- Reducing the chance of developing kidney disease starts with understanding the risk factors, which include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Having a family history of kidney disease
- Belonging to a high-risk ethnic group (First Nations, Pacific Islanders, Asian or African)
- Up to 40 per cent of people with diabetes and 35 per cent with heart disease also have some level of kidney disease.
The BC Renal Agency plans and monitors the delivery of kidney care services throughout the province.
- Coordinates the delivery of specialized care to kidney patients in 13 hospitals and 27 community dialysis centres across the province.
- Is responsible, along with partners such as the Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch, for educating the public about kidney disease.
- Devotes considerable resources to research and knowledge exchange activities in an effort to enhance the quality of care for kidney patients
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across B.C., working with the five geographical health authorities to deliver provincewide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians.
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BC Renal Agency
Provincial Health Services Authority
PHSA Media Pager: 604.871.5699