Celebrate World Kidney Day and keep your kidneys in mind by starting your day with a glass of water!

Brussels (10th March 2014) – Around 600 million persons worldwide have some form of kidney damage. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), predicted to increase by 17% over the next decade, is now recognized as global public health issue. If detected early and managed appropriately, the deterioration in kidney function can be slowed or even stopped - yet awareness of kidney diseases is still very low and many people underestimate the vital role their kidneys play.

Today is the ninth World Kidney Day, an annual day of global action jointly organized by the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). World Kidney Day (WKD) is the most widely celebrated event focused on kidney health across the globe. Most of all, it is the yearly occasion to raise awareness about the dangers of kidney disease and to send a clear message to the general public and governments that CKD is common, harmful and treatable.

In the words of WKD Steering Committee ISN Co-chair Prof John Feehally: "Our mission is to stimulate awareness, discussion, education and policy development leading to improved prevention and treatment of CKD. This year's theme is focused on CKD and aging: about half of people aged 75 or more have some degree of CKD. We want them to be smart about their kidneys by taking a simple blood and urine tests to detect CKD early. Our message to the general public is: talk to your doctor."

Kidneys age, just like you - About 1 in 10 people have some degree of CKD. Kidney disease can affect people of all ages and origins. Although CKD can occur at any age, it becomes more common with increasing age. After the age of 40, kidney filtration begins to fall by approximately 1% per year. On top of the natural aging of the kidneys, many conditions which damage the kidneys are more common in older people including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. This is important because CKD increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, and in some cases can progress to kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation.

On World Kidney Day, have a glass of water - On World Kidney Day, the whole civil society, governments, health professionals and patients around the globe are invited to start their day with a glass of water and to encourage their families, friends and co-worker to do the same. This symbolic gesture brings a powerful connection with a common and simple act to get everyone to think about their kidneys on March 13. Water may protect your kidneys, however there is no scientific statement behind this idea since there is no firm evidence that drinking water lowers the risk for CKD.

The WKD Steering Committee IFKF Co-chair, Prof. Guillermo Garcia Garcia encourages everyone to support World Kidney Day: "Drinking a glass of water will not cure your kidneys, but will certainly help you to remember that you need to take care of them. So join us and start your day on 13 March 2014 by drinking a glass of water, and hopefully this daily act will be a powerful reminder in the future".

A Global Online Campaign - This year our campaign has a stellar presence online where all participants globally can show their support and engage in the fight against CKD.

For more information and details of events around the globe in celebration of World Kidney Day – please see www.worldkidneyday.org

Participants can send us messages and their pictures, using the #glassofwater and #isupportwkd.

Our campaign can be followed online here:

About the organizers of World Kidney Day:

World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).

Founded in 1960, the ISN is a not-for-profit society whose mission is the global advancement of nephrology. Its membership is 9,000 researchers, clinicians and other healthcare professionals from 126 countries. ISN outreach educational, training and research programs are targeted towards reducing the incidence and impact of kidney disease worldwide and make ISN the leading international organization for all issues related to the science and practice of nephrology.

More information on www.theisn.org.

The IFKF, a not-for-profit Federation founded in 1999, currently has a membership of 63 kidney foundations and patient groups in 41 countries. IFKF advocates worldwide to improve the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals with kidney disease; disseminates standards of best practice of treatment and care; assists with the establishment of kidney foundations in countries where they do not yet exist; facilitates educational programs for it members; and promotes kidney disease research.

More information on www.ifkf.org.

World Kidney Day Official Partners
World Kidney Day is grateful to the generous support of its global sponsors who help us make this day of global action possible. Thanks very much to:

- our WKD partners:

- our WKD supporter:

- and our WKD benefactors:

Press contacts:
Sophie Dupuis
World Kidney Day Campaign Manager
Email: sophie@worldkidneyday.org
Phone : +32 2808 0420

Clémentine Martini
PR Manager, Ogilvy Public Relations
Email: clementine.martini@ogilvy.com
Mobile: +32 475 333 946