Kidney Health Week 2023

Thu 25th May - Wed 31st May 2023


Kidney Health Week aims to raise awareness about kidney disease in Australia.

Kidney disease has a big impact on Australians; it is the 10th most common cause of death in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over 50 people die from kidney related disease every day.

Raising Awareness About Kidney Disease

The body has two kidneys which primarily act as a filter for the blood. The kidneys remove waste and excess water. Excess water is then stored in the bladder before being passed out of the body as urine through the urethra. The kidneys help regulate and balance the levels of minerals such as calcium, sodium, and potassium in the blood. The kidneys also produce hormones including renin, which controls blood volume and blood pressure.

Kidney disease can be a serious condition in which the kidney loses part or all of its function. Kidney dysfunction can lead to a build up of waste water which remains in the body. A consequence of kidney disease can include high blood pressure, bone disease, anemia, acidosis and cholesterol problems. Left untreated, kidney disease can be fatal.

Red Undies Week

The Red Undies Week Logo

Kidney disease can be acute or chronic. Acute kidney disease has a sudden onset whilst chronic kidney disease develops over time. The prognosis for acute kidney disease is often good as acute kidney failure can be reversible. However, there is no cure for chronic kidney disease. As the disease progresses, treatment may require dialysis or a transplant.

Risk Factors Of Kidney Disease

  • Age - people over 50 years of age are more likely to get kidney disease.
  • Obesity - obese people are a higher risk (try our BMI Calculator to see if you are obese).
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of kidney disease.
  • People of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

People with kidney disease may experience no symptoms when kidney function is above 10%. Therefore it is vital that people have a health check and are screened for kidney disease. A health check for kidney disease usually includes blood pressure, blood and urine tests.

Kidney Health / Red Undies Week Activities

People can get involved in many types of awareness week activities during Kidney Health / Red Undies Week. Activities may include:

  • Organizing a designated area of a local library or pharmacy which provides information on kidney health.
  • Arranging for a person who has had a successful recovery from kidney disease to share their story with the media.
  • Hosting a Big Red BBQ which promotes low-fat and low-salt alternative foods.
  • Displaying Red Undies Week posters in public places and at work.
  • Setting up a Red Undies Week awareness stand in a public place, and educating the public on kidney health.
  • Making a local Member of Parliament aware of Red Undies Week so they can promote advocacy.

Kidney Health Week / Red Undies Week is backed by Kidney Health Australia, a non-profit organization focused on the the detection, prevention of management of kidney disease in Australia.

For more information visit the dedicated website for Red Undies Week.