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Mar 3, 2020

World Kidney Day And Kidney Health Month 2020

Shining a spotlight on kidney health

March 1 marked the beginning of Kidney Health Month and March 12 is World Kidney Day.

One in ten people has chronic kidney disease (CKD). According to The International Society of Nephrology, the global burden of CKD is increasing and is projected to become the 5th most common cause of years of life lost globally by 2040.

World Kidney Day is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of kidneys. Kidney Foundation volunteers and staff will engage in community activities designed to create awareness and education about preventive behaviours, risk factors, and to highlight our programs and services.

“Despite being vital organs, kidneys are all too often overlooked or ignored as part of our overall health. The increasing number of people with kidney disease is an important challenge facing the Canadian health care community,” said Elizabeth Myles, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “Bringing a greater awareness of kidney health and ways to prevent the onset of kidney failure remains a key priority for the Foundation. A current campaign is taking action to have kidneys recognized as the vital, life-sustaining organs they are. The campaign challenges Canadians’ knowledge of kidneys and encourages them to get the facts.”

Chronic kidney disease is a major cause of catastrophic health expenditure. Health care costs for those living with CKD exceed $40 billion per year in Canada*.

World Kidney Day continues to raise awareness of the increasing burden of kidney diseases worldwide and to strive for kidney health for everyone, everywhere. Specifically, the 2020 campaign highlights the importance of preventive interventions to avert the onset and progression of kidney disease.

The urgency of the situation in Canada is further supported by information published in the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) annual Canadian Organ Replacement Register and e-Statistics on Organ Transplants, Waiting Lists and Donors reports.


The Figures Tell a Story

Based on the data released by CIHI, a vivid picture of the state of kidney disease in Canada can be drawn.

This year, it is predicted that another 6,000 will be diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). For all but a few of them, dialysis will be unavoidable.

Statistically speaking, most of them will not be added to the kidney transplant waiting list, due to medical ineligibility or other reasons. They will have to endure the life-sustaining yet often burdensome dialysis treatments for the rest of their lives and face a far shorter life expectancy than those with a functioning transplant. Currently, there are more than 29,000 Canadians receiving dialysis treatments.

The minority of newly diagnosed ESKD patients that are added to the waiting list can expect to wait an average of three years for a donor kidney to become available; with some waiting six years or more. Some will eventually withdraw from the waiting list, either for medical or personal reasons, and some will die before an appropriate donor kidney becomes available. Currently, some 3,400 Canadians are on the waiting list for a donor kidney and roughly 1,700 kidney transplants are performed annually.

We encourage everyone to find a kidney health event or educational session in their community and invite them to get the facts about kidney health.

*Manns, Braden et al. “The Financial Impact of Advanced Kidney Disease on Canada Pension Plan and Private Disability Insurance Costs.” Canadian journal of kidney health and disease vol. 4 2054358117703986. 17 Apr. 2017, doi:10.1177/2054358117703986

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