Montreal QC – Kidney disease is a major risk factor for heart disease, both of which are among the top ten causes of death for Canadians. During Kidney Health Month, March in Canada, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is reminding the public that addressing kidney disease early is one way of having a positive impact on helping to reduce cardiovascular disease. It’s a goal it shares with the international community of kidney foundations, whose World Kidney Day (March 10, 2011) theme also focuses on the cardiovascular risks associated with kidney disease.
“If your kidneys are not working properly, you are at increased risk of cardiovascular diseases,” says Clinician-Scientist and Nephrologist, Jean-Francois Cailhier. ”When the kidneys don’t work properly, the level of waste in the body increases and this can increase inflammation leading to cardiovascular diseases.”
Francois-René Dussault, is a Kidney Foundation volunteer with the Peer Support Program who knows first-hand what can happen when a kidney shuts down. He received an organ donation from a deceased donor but when the transplanted organ failed almost two years to the date that he had received it, he had to start home hemodialysis treatments to cleanse his blood in a way his kidneys could not.
”My nocturnal hemodialysis treatments required eight hours per night, five nights per week.” It was an exacting schedule, but in 2008, he received a second transplant which he calls ”a gift of life”.
Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, notes: “People should have their blood pressure checked. Individuals who have diabetes or know they have high blood pressure; and those who come from high risk groups such as Aboriginal, Asian or African, should have a blood and urine test to evaluate their kidney function. There is no cure for kidney disease, but early detection can help reverse or delay disease progression.”
”The sooner we can detect the presence of kidney problems, the sooner we can treat them to prevent the bad consequences kidney disease can have,″ says Dr. Cailhier.