Kidney educational series continues Sunday

June 9, 2011 at 1:09 a.m.

More than 900 people were diagnosed with kidney disease between 2003 and 2009, so all the more reason for educational series on the malady, one expert said.

In the Crossroads, the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries with the disease has increased from 19 to 21 percent, said Dr. Earl Smith.

The reason - increases in the overweight population and people with diabetes and hypertension.

"These subtle factors all of a sudden add up to a pretty ugly disease," he said.

Last weekend, the TMF Health Quality Institute in Austin held a kidney disease educational series at DeTar Hospital Navarro. On Sunday, the institute will host the educational series at Citizens Medical Center.

Smith, who works with the institute, said education on how the disease progresses could help lower its prevalence.

"Most people just don't have an understanding of the disease," he said. "It takes a lot of education so people can understand how this progresses. They feel fine, which is the problem."

The educational series is presented by the institute, the National Kidney Foundation Serving Texas and the Texas Campaign for Kidney Health and the American Association of Kidney Patients.

Management of the disease through diet and lifestyle adjustments will be discussed, Smith said.

"It's a program that gives people a nice oversight," Smith said. "It lets them know there is hope and that there are ways to intervene."



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