Encourage good renal health during National Kidney Month and World Kidney Day

By Liz Meszaros, MDLinx
Published March 5, 2018

Key Takeaways

This year, March is National Kidney Month and March 8, 2018, is World Kidney Day. Both are geared toward raising awareness of the importance of good kidney health.

According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), one in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease because of diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney failure.

Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States, affecting in excess of 30 million Americans. More than 590,000 people in this country currently have kidney failure, and over 95,000 are waiting for kidney transplants. Consider that each day, the kidneys are tasked with filtering waste from 200 liters of blood. They also regulate the body’s salt, potassium, and acid levels; process drugs out of the body; balance bodily fluids; release blood-pressure regulating hormones; produce an active form of vitamin D; and control the production of red blood cells.

During March, the NKF encourages people to be aware of their kidneys and promote steps intrinsic to good kidney health. To help, NKF offers the following:

  • Free screenings for people who are most at risk for kidney disease, including those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney failure.
  • “Are You at Risk” Kidney Quiz for better early detection. https://www.kidney.org/kidneydisease/selfAssessmentQuiz

The NKF is also asking for support via Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, in posting a one-time message on World Kidney Day, March 8: “NKF Kid Ambassador Angelica Hale is inviting you to #HeartYourKidneys today, on #WorldKidneyDay! http://thndr.me/3QcDcP

Go to https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/67682-bring-urgency-to-kidney-health for more details.

World Kidney Day

World Kidney Day is a global campaign to increase kidney awareness. In this thirteenth year, the theme is “Kidneys & Women’s Health: Include, Value, Empower.”

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects about 195 million women throughout the world and is the eighth leading cause of death in women, responsible for nearly 600,000 deaths annually.1 Women are slightly more likely to get kidney disease than men, although disease progression is slower in women, and fewer women need dialysis. Women are also more likely to donate kidneys, but less likely to receive them.2

Lupus nephritis, pyelonephritis, and other kidney infections can cause debilitating and life-threatening consequences for women. Chronic kidney disease can also cause poor outcomes in pregnancies, as well as reduced fertility.

The risk for kidney disease and/or injury can be affected by some pregnancy-related complications, including preeclampsia, septic abortion, and postpartum hemorrhage. In developing countries, the risk for these complications is high because of insufficient access to prenatal care, improper management of preeclampsia, and the unavailability of dialysis for women with severe acute kidney injury.

“There is a clear need for higher awareness, timely diagnosis, and proper follow up of CKD in pregnancy. In turn, pregnancy may be also a valuable occasion for early diagnosis of CKD, allowing planning of therapeutic interventions,” according to the organizers of World Kidney Day.

This year, World Kidney Day and International Women’s Day 2018 will both occur on March 8.

“On this occasion, World Kidney Day and the International Women’s Day 2018 are commemorated on the same day, offering us the opportunity to reflect on the importance of women’ s health and specifically their kidney health. On its 13th anniversary, World Kidney Day promotes affordable and equitable access to health education, health care, and prevention for kidney diseases for all women and girls in the world,” the organizers concluded.

For more information on World Kidney Day, http://www.worldkidneyday.org/.


  1. Data on prevalence and mortality in women taken from GBD website: https://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare/. Accessed March 1, 2018.
  2. Chronic Kidney Disease, Gender, and Access to Care: A Global Perspective: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28532558. Accessed on March 1, 2018.
Share with emailShare to FacebookShare to LinkedInShare to Twitter