Northwest Kidney Council is excited to announce that September is officially proclaimed Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Awareness Month in both Oregon and Washington by both Governors Brown (Oregon) and Inslee (Washington).
These proclamations declaring September PKD Awareness Month are critical to raising awareness and education on this disease which are critical in ensuring the best possible outcomes for patients.
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disease (passed from an affected parent to their child) causing uncontrolled growth of cysts in the kidney eventually leading to kidney failure. It is one of the four leading causes of kidney failure in the United States.
There are two types of PKD, the most common is Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). In ADPKD, fluid-filled cysts develop and enlarge in both kidneys. It is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure and more than 50 percent of people with ADPKD will develop kidney failure by age 50. Once a person has kidney failure, dialysis or a transplant are the only options.
ADPKD affects more than 600,000 Americans and 12.4 million people worldwide. Early education efforts will lead to earlier recognition of symptoms and diagnoses of PKD, and better patient outcomes.
While the disease affects all races and ethnicities equally, data suggests African Americans suffer worse outcomes due to delayed diagnosis, slower referrals to nephrology specialists than their white counterparts, and earlier progression to end-stage renal disease as a result.
In general, kidney disease is on the rise. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) cases are expected to increase 11-18 percent in the next ten years.
People who have chronic, life-threatening diseases like PKD have a predisposition to depression and are seven times more likely than the national average to experience thoughts of suicide due to their anxiety over pain, suffering, and premature death.
Additionally, PKD has a devastating impact on the health and finances of people of all ages and affects people of all races, genders, nationalities, geographic locations, and income levels.
Overall, PKD awareness empowers patients and families to seek diagnosis, support, and appropriate treatment.
Across Oregon and Washington, Northwest Kidney Council will be celebrating PKD awareness month all September long. We encourage you to follow along with our social channels (@NWKidneyCouncil) and share our resources to increases awareness and education around PKD.