'World Kidney Day'

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

March 9, 2006

Several chronic diseases are expected to claim the lives of 36 million people by the year 2015, and doctors say the only way to respond is to promote early detection.

Now, there is a new way to be informed about kidney disease.

March 9, 2006 marks the first-time a day has been set aside world-wide to officially raise awareness about kidney disease.

"It's an epidemic, and a lot of people are unaware of its prevalence," said Dr. Constance Christ, M.D. of the Piedmont."

Created by multiple organizations within the nephrology arena, 'World Kidney Day' is designed to stamp out the epidemic, but could it be seen as just another day mixed with every other medical campaign?

"Well, if you look at the burden of disease in our country and world-wide, and consider its ramifications; the I think an argument can be made easily that it's a day that is needed," added Dr. Christ.

The disease affecting the bean-shaped organ which sits underneath the ribcage, affects 20 million Americans a year, according to the National Kidney Foundation. The majority of the victims are in the minority population.

"Unfortunately, African-Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics; their rate of decline is different than Caucasians as far as we can tell so far," said Dr. Christ.

For a group known to have several risks associated with other ailments, the thought of kidney disease is alarming.

"So instead of being twice as bad, it becomes four times as bad, and that is really the crux of the issue." said Dr. Christ.

Often times, the warning signs of kidney disease, are noticed too late. The doctor recommends, if you experience swelling in the legs, and changes in the quantity of urinary output, you should see your doctor.

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