Kidney Health

The kidneys clean blood and filter waste out through urine [28715]. They also process excess fluid and unwanted chemicals, regulate blood pressure and manage the body’s production of vitamin D [41199].

If the kidneys stop working properly, waste can build up in the body and negatively impact a person’s health. This may lead to kidney disease (sometimes called renal disease) [28715][39742] , which can be acute (short term) or chronic (life-long). Chronic kidney disease is the most common form of kidney disease and can lead to kidney failure, which is called end-stage kidney disease [28715].

Diabetes is the main cause of kidney disease, accounting for over a third of new cases. There is also strong link between kidney disease and high blood pressure. Other causes include immune diseases, congenital conditions and genetic disorders [28715].

Kidney disease is a serious health problem for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The hospitalisation and mortality rates for kidney disease are higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than non-Indigenous people [44858][41038]. However, between 2006 and 2018, death rates for kidney disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people declined by 61% [44858].

References

Key resources

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Artwork

Watiya-warnu Jukurrpa (Seed Dreaming) by Evelyn Nangala Robertson

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