Saturday, February 9, 2008

No, that won't make you go blind but this will ...

Kidney Disease Could Increase Risk Of Blindness Threefold

Kidney Health Australia today said a major Australian study just published has identified for the first time a significant relationship between early age related macular degeneration of the eye and early Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The findings could see future best practice protocols for people with CKD include monitoring of the eye for evidence of macular degeneration.

Kidney Health Australia Medical Director Tim Mathew said, "Age related macular degeneration is the commonest cause of irreversible blindness in Australia and whilst known to co-exist with chronic kidney disease (CKD) has not previously been recognized to be increased in frequency in these patients."

Image above right: Dr Tim Mathew Medical Director Kidney Health Australia.

"The Blue Mountains Eye Study studied 1184 people aged over 54 yrs and assessed eye function sequentially through a five year study period."

Dr Mathew said, "The results showed a surprising threefold increase in the onset of macular degeneration during the five year period in those with early CKD compared to those with no CKD."

"This association increased with increasing age and suggests that the 2 conditions share similar causative mechanisms."

"Early age-related macular degeneration thus joins the list of conditions known to occur significantly more frequently in people with CKD."

"These include anemia, high blood pressure, heart failure, atherosclerotic vascular disease and bone disease."

Fast Facts:

  • 1 in 3 adults are at increased risk of developing CKD.
  • 1 in 7 adults have at least one clinical sign of existing CKD.
  • Approximately 2 million Australians may be affected by early-stage kidney disease and don't know it.

Media Enquiries:

  • Dr Tim Mathew, Medical Director KHA Mobile: 0416 149 863.
  • Ron Smith Media Communications Kidney Health Australia
    Mobile: 0417 329 201

end of media release

Wherever you live, ask your family doctor about an annual kidney function test.

Sue Bayliss. Cairns, Australia.

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