World Kidney Day Puts Spotlight on Kidney Disease in Children

Each year, World Kidney Day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of the kidneys to overall health and to increase support for reducing the incidence and impact of kidney diseases and associated health problems worldwide.

Kidney diseases can affect children in various ways, ranging from treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions. Some children are born with kidney diseases and others develop symptoms while very young. These symptoms in children are often nonspecific, and can be missed. Yet the missed symptoms can grow over time and result in adult chronic kidney disease.

“Early detection and a healthy lifestyle in children are crucial to mitigating the incidence of adult chronic kidney disease,” said ASN President Raymond C. Harris, MD, FASN. “Kidney disease that manifests in adulthood may occur more often in those with risk factors that could be detected in childhood.”

The American Society of Nephrology is working with the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN) to recognize the importance of preventing and treating childhood kidney diseases on World Kidney Day in the US. Other events are being held around the world from Japan to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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The ASPN and Congressional Kidney Caucus will host a congressional briefing, “Kidney Disease in Children … Act Early to Prevent It,” on March 10, 2016. The briefing aims to inform policymakers about the impact on families of having a child with kidney disease and the role Congress and regulatory agencies can play in the pediatric kidney disease population. Among those supporting the event are ASN, the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, National Renal Administrators Association, American Association of Kidney Patients, and Renal Physicians Association. The hearing is provided in cooperation with the American Nephrology Nurses Association.