World Kidney Day 2017

Press Release: World Kidney Day 2017

Every year World Kidney Day highlights the importance of Kidney Health and Disease to populations around the world. This year World Kidney Day is focusing on Obesity and its relationship with kidneys.

Obesity is not a new health problem but unfortunately it is affecting more and more people every year, both here in New Zealand and Internationally. Unfortunately, here in New Zealand the rates of obesity are higher than virtually any other Western country – with almost one in three adults categorized as obese (32%) a further 35% of adults as overweight but not obese.

While most of us are aware that being overweight increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes, it can also cause major damage to your kidneys too, according to Kidney Health New Zealand’s Medical Advisor, Dr Colin Hutchison.

“Obesity can either damage your kidneys directly or cause other problems which can go on to damage your kidneys. When someone is obese, their kidneys have to work harder, cleaning more blood than normal to meet the demands of the increased body weight. The increase in function can damage the kidney and raise the risk of developing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in the long-term. Obesity also increases the risk of developing conditions that can cause kidney damage, such as diabetes and hypertension.

“CKD affects 1 in 10 New Zealand adults. With the rising levels of obesity we can expect the rates of CKD to rise as well. Already CKD is placing immense pressure on the strained health care services of New Zealand. Dialysis costs alone account for over $150 million in health care expenditure, even before other costs such as transplantation are considered.


“The good news is that obesity, as well as CKD, is largely preventable. Education and awareness of the risks of obesity and a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and exercise, can dramatically help in preventing obesity and kidney disease.

“This year World Kidney Day promotes education about the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney disease, advocating healthy lifestyle and health policy measures that make preventive behaviors an affordable option.

“Kidney Health New Zealand continues to work with primary healthcare teams across New Zealand to help them identify and manage kidney disease early before severe consequences of CKD occur,” Dr Hutchison says.

Kidney Health NZ (formally the Kidney Foundation) is a national organisation supporting kidney patients and their families by way of education, advocacy and research across all areas of kidney health - including organ donation and transplant, dialysis, early detection and prevention of chronic kidney disease. For further information or advice, contact the Kidney Health Helpline – 0800 KIDNEYS (543 639)