13 Mar 2009

Doctor issues warning on renal problems

9:57 pm on 13 March 2009

A renal physician at Wellington Hospital has warned that one in five New Zealanders suffers from significant kidney illness and is unaware of the problem until he or she ends up on dialysis treatment.

Alistair McDonald says dialysis will be unaffordable within two decades if the rate of kidney disease continues at its present levels.

Dr McDonald says that between 100 and 120 New Zealanders are diagnosed with kidney disease each year, and that dialysis treatment costs about $70,000 a year per patient.

He says people are often unaware of their problems because kidney function has to fall below 25% before symptoms occur.