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Around three million people in the UK have kidney disease

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Am I at risk?

Around 3 million people in the UK are at risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) – where, in general, kidney damage is potentially long-lasting and possibly progressive, rather than severe.

Often there are few, if any symptoms and many people are not aware they have the condition.

Risk factors

Kidney disease (a term used by doctors to include any abnormality of the kidneys) can affect anyone at any age. However, certain factors may mean that you are at greater risk of developing the illness:

Cardiovascular disease (conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels.)

Family history of kidney disease

Use of cocaine, heroin, and other ‘hard drugs’

*It is more common if your blood pressure or diabetes hasn’t been well controlled.

When to see your GP

Don’t hesitate to see your GP if you think you are at high risk.

Kidney disease can make people more prone to having high blood pressure and potential problems with circulation. Similarly, high blood pressure and circulatory problems can also contribute to progressive kidney damage, therefore creating a potential ‘vicious cycle’ of illness. So it’s always a good idea to have regular health checks.

If a kidney issue is detected, doctors can offer lifestyle advice and treatment to protect the kidneys from future damage and to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.

Make an appointment to see your GP if you think you are at risk of kidney disease, have been advised to do so following your interactive kidney health check, have any concerns about your kidneys or have any of the symptoms associated with possible kidney problems (including blood in your urine). You can find lots of helpful tips and advice about planning your visit, including what questions to ask, in our visiting your doctor section.

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