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Protect your kidneys, save your heart

Friday, 15th March, 2013

Community dietitian, Heidi Drenkhahn gives Sharron Gilby a check-up at the hospital yesterday. Community dietitian, Heidi Drenkhahn gives Sharron Gilby a check-up at the hospital yesterday.

Health service staff were asking everyone to protect their kidneys and save their hearts at World Kidney Day yesterday.

The Broken Hill Health Service issued advice to check risk factors and be aware that kidney dysfunction greatly increases the risk of heart disease.

Kidney dysfunction greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease - an important fact that is often overlooked.

If you are at risk, see your doctor to discuss maintaining your heart health as well.

Clinical Nurse Consultant for Renal Services, Penny Griffin, said hospital staff gave blood pressure and blood sugar level checks and that dietitians talked about weight, height and Body Mass Index (BMI).

"We want to make people aware of the risk factors so they can be lowered," she said.

Ms Griffin said Chronic Kidney Disease was a silent killer that can affect 90 per cent of a person's kidney function before they even realise they are suffering from the disease.

If you are over 50, have a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent or have a family history of kidney disease, you should have a kidney health check every 12 months by your GP.

Smoking and obesity are also risk factors.

"The only way to tell for sure is to have a blood test from your GP," Ms Griffin said.

"We want to encourage CKD screening of all 'high risk' groups and especially anyone with diabetes and hypertension. This goes hand in hand with encouraging preventative behaviour."

For more information on World Kidney Day go to www.kidney.org.au/NewsEvents/WorldKidneyDay/tabid/655/Default.aspx

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