Media Release

Chronic Disease Monitoring Vital To Save Lives


Kidney Health Australia

50 people a day or 350 a week die from Kidney related disease in Australia

Kidney Health Australia today said a new report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) was an important reminder of the major challenges being faced by the health system to cope with chronic disease.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD) account for around a quarter of the burden of disease and just under two-thirds of all deaths in Australia.

Anne Wilson CEO and Managing Director of Kidney Health Australia said, Kidney Health Australia strongly supports a systematic approach to monitoring risk factor prevention activities for CVD, diabetes and CKD as the major way to address the rapidly increasing number of people who are ending up on dialysis following kidney failure.

"We expect dialysis patients with kidney failure to double from 10,000 to 20000 people in the next ten years.

Despite  diabetes being the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 34% of new dialysis patients in 2008 up 3% on 2007 less than half of the people diagnosed with diabetes are undergoing a simple screening test for kidney disease"

Kidney Health Australia is highlighting the vital link between diabetes and kidney disease to increase awareness of patients with diabetes about their high risk of kidney failure.  

Dr Tim Mathew, Medical Director of Kidney Health Australia said kidney disease is often detected too late, when the patient is already in end-stage renal failure and will need either dialysis or transplantation.

"The simple way to prevent these issues is to tackle the problem at the source, and ensure early diagnosis of kidney damage by systematically screening people diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension."

Dr Mathew said this can be done with simple and inexpensive blood and urine tests.

"If detected early, damage can be treated with effective therapies. If diagnosed too late, kidney disease leads to kidney failure, which entails dialysis and transplantation.

"Kidney Health Australia is urging people at an increased risk of kidney disease - those over 50 years, all diabetics and those known to have high blood pressure - to visit their local GP to request a simple test to check the health of their kidneys."

Media Enquiries:
Anne Wilson, CEO & Managing Director Kidney Health Australia  Mobile: 0400 165 391 
Dr Tim Mathew, Medical Director, Kidney Health Australia  Mobile: 0416 149 863
Ron Smith National Communications Manager Kidney Health Australia  Mobile:  0417 329 201