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World Kidney Day 2011 – Protect your kidneys and Save your heart!

11 March 2011, Brussels -- Every year millions die prematurely of kidney failure or heart attacks and strokes linked to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Today, on World Kidney Day (WKD) activities around the globe are being held to inform the public about the importance of the kidneys — an amazing organ that plays a crucial role in keeping us alive and well.

Marches, concerts, educative sessions, free kidney screenings and fundraising events will help to raise awareness of the silent pandemic that affects the world at an alarming pace.

The 2011 campaign aims to call attention to the large, and often unappreciated, role played by kidney dysfunction in increasing premature cardiovascular disease, the most common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.

This year World Kidney Day asks everyone to “Protect your kidneys, Save your heart!” Kidney diseases affects around 600 million people worldwide- approximately one in ten people. And in urbanized countries where unhealthy eating habits, increased body fat and sedentary lifestyle have become more common, the prevalence is even higher. People with kidney disease are three times as likely to have heart disease.

However, most people with chronic kidney disease don’t even know they have it until it is too late. Undetected, CKD causes progressive kidney damage and loss of function, eventually leading to the need for dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant. WKD Steering Committee Co-chair Dr. William Couser explains, “The incidence of CKD is escalating with 10-13% of the population affected in most countries. Added to this, millions are dying prematurely of cardiovascular diseases linked to chronic kidney disease”.
WKD aims to foster more aggressive intervention by physicians for early detection and treatment, as well as encourage health ministries around the world to invest in preventive measures such as healthy lifestyle choices. “As the incidence of kidney disease escalates, WKD’s crucial role in educating the public, the medical community and governments has never been more important”, he continued.

World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). Celebrated every year on the second Thursday of March in more than 100 countries, WKD encourages everyone to learn more about their kidneys and to raise awareness of the fact that that kidney disease is common, harmful and treatable. It is supported by the global nephrologcial community and its various renal patient advocacy organizations.

The WKD campaign would not be possible without the generous support of its global corporate partners:, Abbott, Amgen, Danone Research, Novartis, Pfizer Oncology, Roche Diagnostics and Shire. Each of these companies is committed to raising awareness and helping us lead the important battle against kidney disease and the associated risk factors.

For more information and details of events around the globe in celebration of World Kidney Day – please see http://www.worldkidneyday.org/

Media Contact Sara Martin, Campaign Manager Tel: +32 476 274 325 +32 (0)2 213 1398 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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