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February 25, 2009 > Washington Hospital Presents a World Kidney Day Seminar & Health Fair

Washington Hospital Presents a World Kidney Day Seminar & Health Fair

Learn More About Prevention, Risk Factors and Treatment Options for Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global problem. More than 500 million people worldwide - or about one adult in ten - have some form of kidney damage. In the United States, an estimated 20 million people suffer from chronic kidney disease and an additional 20 million who are at risk. CKD is rising mainly due to the worldwide increase in type 2 diabetes.

To help raise kidney disease awareness, Washington Hospital's World Kidney Day seminar and health fair will focus attention on high blood pressure and diabetes, the two main causes of chronic kidney disease. A panel of three Washington Hospital physicians who specialize in nephrology will explain the many risk factors and treatment options for chronic kidney disease.

The free seminar will take place on Wednesday, March 11 from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditoriums located at 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West). A special health fair centered on kidney disease will immediately follow the seminar from Noon to 2 p.m. Free kidney disease screenings are being offered over the next few weeks to those who qualify. (See the info box below for more details or call (800) 963-7070 for more information.)

What Do My Kidneys Do?

Approximately five liters of blood circulate in the human body and your kidneys filter and clean this volume of blood 40 times every day. Although the kidneys are small organs by weight, they receive a large amount (20 percent) of the blood pumped by the heart.

"Your kidneys are a vital filtration system that works to keep your blood clean," says Dr. Lucia Yumena, a Fremont nephrologist and a member of the medical staff at Washington Hospital. "Every day, your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood that sifts out and removes waste and extra water. The kidneys also release hormones into the blood to help regulate blood pressure and they perform many functions to keep your blood chemically balanced."

What Causes Kidney Disease?

The two most common causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. As the rate of diabetes and high blood pressure continues to rise in the United States, so does kidney disease. If your family has a history of any kind of kidney problems, you may be at risk for kidney disease.

During the upcoming seminar, the physicians will highlight and discuss some of the most common causes of kidney disease such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Yumena will focus her attention on the treatment options for chronic kidney disease.

"If CKD worsens it can lead to kidney failure and in order to survive, people with severe kidney failure either receive a transplanted kidney or be kept alive with "dialysis" - usually by a machine which cleans their blood about three times a week," says Dr. Yumena. "Unfortunately, people on dialysis live an uncomfortable lifestyle and many people wait 5 to 7 years to receive a kidney transplant."

Early Detection is Key - Who's At Risk?

Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. A simple urine analysis in a doctor's office can detect kidney disease. A patient's blood can also be tested to indicate how well the kidneys are filtering wastes.

People that fall into the high risk category of developing kidney disease are:
* Patients with diabetes and hypertension.
* Individuals who are obese or smoke.
* Individuals over 65 years of age.
* Individuals with a family history of diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease.
* Patients with a presence of other kidney diseases.

"If people have any of the risk factors, they shouldn't be shy about talking with their doctor about kidney disease," said Dr. Yumena. "The upcoming lecture is a great opportunity for people to learn more about the disease and help educate people with diabetes about the risks of kidney disease. I really want to encourage people to be proactive and get screened. Early detection and treatment can save lives."

The 4th Annual World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations. For more detailed information about World Kidney Day, please visit

Three Washington Hospital physicians will discuss the following kidney disease topics at the World Kidney Day seminar:

Speaker: Lucia Yumena, M.D., Nephrologist
Topic: Treatment Options for Chronic Kidney Disease

Speaker: David T. Tay, M.D., Nephrologist
Topic: Kidney Disease: Risk Factors and Symptoms

Speaker: Peter L. Lunny, Nephrologist
Topic: Prevention of Kidney Disease

To register for the March 11 seminar, call Washington Hospital's toll-free Health Connection line at (800) 963-7070. When registering, participants will be asked to answer a few questions regarding their health. If they qualify for the free screening, they will be sent a letter explaining the screenings and a lab slip to have lab work completed which will include a blood draw and a urinalysis. Results will be available at the seminar.

The health fair will include several information booths related to kidney health. Washington Hospital dialysis nurses, dietitians, certified diabetes educators and a pharmacist will be on hand to answer your questions. The free health fair will take place from Noon to 2 p.m. The seminar and health fair will take place at the Conrad E. Anderson Auditoriums, Rooms B & C located at Washington West (2500 Mowry Avenue). Call (800) 963-7070 to register.

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