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The kidneys filter toxins from the blood, control blood pressure and fluid balance, and play a role in the health of many other body systems. While the early stages of kidney disease may not cause any symptoms, but people with kidney failure may need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. Kidney disease has many causes, including genetic diseases, immune system disorders, and infections, but the most common are high blood pressure and diabetes.
Unfortunately, the rates of kidney disease are rising in many parts of the world and over 10% of the world's population is affected by chronic kidney disease. People with kidney disease often need complex medical care and are at much higher risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes. A minority of people with kidney disease will go on to develop kidney failure. This all results in significant health, economic and social burden of disease. As such, the gains to everyone from the preservation and improvement of kidney health are vast.
Established in 2020, the NHMRC CTC’s Kidney Health research program concentrates on identifying and addressing key knowledge gaps that will improve patient lives, lead to better treatments for those with kidney disease, and open new avenues for the global research community to pursue.
All activities of the Kidney Health research program are focused on three guiding principles: