Some things you should know about kidney disease:
- More than 30 million Americans suffer from diseases of the kidney and urinary tract. More then 90,000 die each year because of these diseases.
- About 200,000 Americans suffer from chronic kidney failure and need an artificial kidney machine to stay alive.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney failure, diabetes accounts for approximately one-third of new cases of chronic kidney failure in the United States each year.
- Uncontrolled or poorly controlled high blood pressure is the second leading cause of chronic kidney failure in the United States; it accounts for 30 percent of all cases.
- More than 95,000 patients are waiting for kidney transplants, but only about 16,000 will receive transplants this year because of a shortage of suitable organ donors.
- Prostate problems affect 60 percent of men by age 50 and more than 80 percent of men by age 80.
- Currently, some one million Americans are treated each year for kidney stones. The majority of these cases occur in people between the ages of 20 and 40 years of age. Kidney stones are more common in men, who account for about 80 percent of cases.
- Kidney and urinary tract diseases continue to be one of the major causes of work-loss among men and women. Approximately, 27 million American outpatient visits result from kidney and urinary tract problems each year.
- Urinary incontinence, the loss of urine control caused by illness, medications or aging, affects about 10 million Americans. Although effective treatments are available, only about 10 percent of those who suffer from urinary incontinence seek medical care for the problem, often because of embarrassment.
- Of the single kidney transplants performed in 1998, 3,389 were from living donors and 7,710 were from cadaver donors. Another 850 kidneys were transplanted in combination with pancreas transplants. In that year alone, 11,949 people with kidney disease were given a "Gift of Life" by receiving a transplant.
For more information, contact the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd Street, New York, New York, 10018, or call 1-800-822-9010 or on the internet at The National Kidney Foundation.