March 11, 2008 (Jamaica, NY)– Chronic kidney disease is a major problem in the United States. More than 26 million American adults have kidney disease, millions more are at risk for developing kidney disease, and most of them donÛªt know it.
ÛÏThe prevalence of kidney disease is a health issue we should all be aware of, mainly because symptoms do not show until the disease is well advanced and life-saving dialysis is needed,Û said Dr. Emmanuel B. Masih, Director of Nephrology at Jamaica Hospital.
Healthy kidneys remove waste from the blood stream and filter it out of the system through urine. In addition, the kidneys also help produce red blood cells and control blood pressure. Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys cannot properly remove waste from the blood.
There are five stages to chronic kidney disease. At stage one, the kidneyÛªs function is slightly diminished, while stage five establishes complete kidney failure. Kidney disease at any stage can lead to anemia, bone disorders, malnutrition, and cardiovascular disease, which can result in death.
Primary risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes and high blood pressure, the leading and second leading cause of kidney failure. Other risk factors include cardiovascular disease, family history of kidney disease, and age, adults 60 and over. MinoritiesÛÓ African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and American IndiansÛÓare at greater risk for developing kidney disease.
Individuals should also be wary of symptoms related to kidney disease, as the disease can progress without symptoms for a long time until very minimal kidney function is left. Common symptoms include swollen ankles, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, decreased appetite, blood in the urine and foamy urine.
ÛÏItÛªs important to know if you are at risk for or are experiencing symptoms of kidney disease,Û said Dr. Masih. ÛÏEarly diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the kidneys from going into severe renal failure.Û
There are two types of tests that can help determine an individualÛªs risk. The first is a urine test, which looks for the presence of protein. The second is a blood test, which measures how well the kidneys filter waste out of the blood.
Dr. Masih recommends that adults take the following efforts to keep their kidneys healthy:
- Control weight by exercising regularly and following a healthy diet
- DonÛªt smoke or abuse alcohol
- Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol
- Get tested if you are at risk
- Limit the use of drugs that adversely affect the kidneys
For additional information on Chronic Kidney Disease visit Jamaica HospitalÛªs informational table on March 13, World Kidney Day, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm in the main lobby. To schedule an appointment for testing, contact Jamaica HospitalÛªs Renal Clinic at 718-206-5740. Jamaica Hospital is located at 8900 Van Wyck Expressway.
Jamaica Hospital Medical Centerserves a population greater than 1.2 million in Queens and eastern Brooklyn. This 387-bed medical center is an accredited community teaching hospital with a large network of community-based ambulatory care centers. The Department of Nephrology diagnoses and treats early and end stage kidney disease. In 2007, Jamaica Hospital performed over 3,000 acute dialyses. The Kew Gardens Dialysis Center, an affiliate of Jamaica Hospital, provides comprehensive treatment for end stage kidney disease. In 2007 alone, the facility performed approximately 35,150 dialyses. For additional information, please contact Public Affairs at 718-206-6020.