People of all ages are being encouraged to turn their good health into the support that can save a life – all in the name of kidney disease.
October is Kidney Disease Awareness month with peak body Kidney Health Australia’s main fundraising event, the Red Socks Run, also scheduled to take place.
Every day, on average 66 Australians will die from kidney disease, a life-long incurable illness. A silent killer with no cure, there are more than 1.8 million Australians unaware they’re living with signs of the disease, with 90 percent of kidney function often lost before kidney disease symptoms become apparent.
The Red Socks Run is a free virtual campaign to raise awareness and funds that can lead to life-changing research, vital support services and treatments for kidney disease.
It encourages participants of all abilities to run, walk, roll or ride 60 km individually or in teams between 1 and 31 October, while wearing red socks in exchange for donations and sponsorship.
The 60 km distance was decided upon because those who need dialysis treatment to survive are attached to a machine for an average of 60 hours per month.
During dialysis, as blood is being filtered by a machine and returned to their body, people get cold, especially their feet.
The event comes just weeks after The Hon Mark Butler, Minister for Health and Aged Care, announced that Finerenone (Kerendia®) will also be listed on the PBS for the first time to treat chronic kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease is characterised by the gradual loss of kidney function over time which decreases the ability to filter waste products from the blood.
Patients with both diabetes and chronic kidney disease are also at a higher risk of developing other complications, such as nerve and eye damage.
Without the subsidy over 26,000 patients could pay more than $1,000 per year for treatment.
Kidney Health Australia said knowing and checking risk factors can potentially help protect all Australians against developing kidney disease. However, some are at a higher risk of developing the disease than others.
If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or are a First Nations Australian aged 18 years and over, you should have a kidney health check every 12 months.
If you are a current or former smoker, are very overweight or obese, have had a stroke, heart attack or heart failure, have a family history of kidney failure, dialysis or kidney transplant, have a history of acute kidney injury or are over 60 years of age you should have a kidney health check every two years.
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