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Kidney Health supports Diabetes New Zealand call

Media Release – October 24, 2008

Kidney Health New Zealand supports Diabetes New Zealand call for more investment in the management of Type 2 Diabetes

Kidney Health New Zealand welcomes the report on Type 2 Diabetes just released by Diabetes New Zealand which highlights the additional costs and suffering of the complications of diabetes.

“Diabetes is the commonest cause of serious kidney failure”, says Professor Kelvin Lynn, Medical Director of Kidney Health New Zealand, “and responsible for 45 percent of new cases of kidney failure requiring dialysis treatment”.

At the end of 2006, there were 1,971 New Zealanders on dialysis and, for more than a third, diabetes was the primary cause. The majority of the patients with diabetic kidney disease were Maori and Pacific Islanders.

“Early recognition and treatment can either prevent kidney disease in diabetes or substantially slow its progress”, says Professor Lynn.

Diabetic kidney disease is expensive and costs at least $ 36 million annually. Its impact on sufferers and their families is substantial.

In spite of the best efforts of Kidney Health New Zealand, Diabetes New Zealand, health professionals and some enlightened health managers New Zealand still does not have a national system for early detection and treatment of diabetic kidney disease.

Early detection is straightforward and involves a simple blood and urine test. There is consensus on the best treatment for people found to have early evidence of kidney disease.

Kidney Health New Zealand supports Diabetes New Zealand’s call for “a major preventive strategy” to reduce the burden of kidney disease in our community


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