World Kidney Day - 12 March

March 10, 2009

World Kidney Day is celebrated on 12 March and this year’s theme is “Keep the Pressure Down”Treating high blood pressure is one the most important factors in preventing kidney damage, says Taranaki DHB Renal Physician Krishan Madhan.

Dr Madhan says controlling high blood pressure (hypertension) can also delay progression to kidney failure once damage is done. 

World Kidney Day is celebrated on 12 March and this year’s theme is “Keep the Pressure Down”, highlighting the role high blood pressure has in causing chronic kidney disease.

Dr Madhan says high blood pressure is the second biggest cause of chronic kidney disease next to diabetes.

He says kidneys control blood pressure and regulate body water, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphate. They maintain the body’s pH to allow a host of useful metabolic processes to proceed.

“The kidneys also regulate red blood cell production and numerous other hormonal functions. Awareness of kidney disease has been generally poor and the role that kidneys play in maintenance of health has not been fully appreciated.” 

Dr Madhan sees about 150 new patients with renal dysfunction each year. Two thirds have high blood pressure and more than half do not have their blood pressure adequately controlled, Dr Madhan says.

Besides medications, treatment includes lifestyle changes, regular exercise and a diet low in salt and unsaturated fats, he says. “A reduction in weight of as little as 3-4kgs can have a dramatic impact on blood pressure. Stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake is also essential.”

There are currently 63 people in Taranaki receiving dialysis treatment, at an estimated cost of up to $80,000 each per year. “Not only does dialysis have monetary costs, it also has cultural, spiritual, emotional, physical and quality of life costs that can not be calculated,” Dr Madhan says.

To highlight World Kidney Day the Taranaki Kidney Support Group will be providing information on kidney disease at the Bell Block Warehouse on 11 March between 10am–3pm.

A Taranaki DHB renal nurse will be at Rampage Fitness (formerly Club Health) on 12 March between 10am-12noon to answer questions from the public and to highlight the importance of regular exercise.

The Renal Unit at Taranaki Base Hospital invites the public to come and talk to the nurses on 12 March between 9am–11am, and again from 2pm-4pm.

For more information please call

Sue Carrington
Media Advisor
on 021 367 789.

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