A national charity has warned that an alarming lack of awareness of kidney disease amongst the British public could have devastating effect on public health.
Kidney Research UK polled 2,000 adults across the UK to find out just how much people know about the disease. Startlingly, almost three quarters (74%) of those polled claim to have limited or no knowledge of kidney disease, its causes or its symptoms.
However, a fifth (21%) of those polled confirmed they suffered with diabetes, high blood pressure or vascular disease – three of the leading causes of kidney failure. Despite this, only 6% of those surveyed considered themselves to be at risk of kidney disease.
67% of those surveyed wrongly thought that kidney disease was life threatening but can be cured. In fact, there is no cure for kidney disease; the only treatments currently available are dialysis, a transplant or conservative care. On average, a kidney transplant only lasts between 10 and 15 years.
Sandra Currie, Chief Executive at Kidney Research UK, commented: “The lack of awareness of kidney disease amongst the UK population is a serious cause for concern. With the increasing rise in diabetes and other kidney disease causes, the problem isn’t going away, so awareness of the symptoms is crucial. There are too many high risk individuals walking around completely oblivious to the very real threat of the disease.
” We want more people to understand that if it is caught early enough, the damage done by some forms of kidney disease can be slowed, stopped or even reversed. With kidney disease, it is very much a case of ensuring that it doesn’t get to the point of no return.”
The charity is gearing up to launch its ‘Go Purple’ campaign, which runs throughout March and aims to raise awareness of, and vital funds for research into, kidney disease. To find out more about the awareness month, visit: www.kidneyresearchuk.org/gopurple
Source: Kidney Research UK