Published 01 Mar 2016
There are many diseases and illnesses that prevent Australians from working, but few are as uncomfortable to live with as those that affect vital organs. Despite this, afflictions that target these parts of the body are not uncommon.
In particular, the prevalence of kidney diseases throughout Australia is leading many to make critical illness claims. While kidney transplants can be effective, and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports they are on the rise, they aren't always successful and depend on finding a matching donor with a healthy organ.
Recently, Kidney Health Australia found that kidney diseases in general are affecting more Australians than ever before. What do you need to be aware of?
How many people get kidney disease?
According to Kidney Health Australia, the number of people throughout the country with these diseases is on the rise. Currently, the organisation estimates that as many as 1.7 million people throughout the country are afflicted with these diseases.
Of this number, the organisation is expecting nearly 200,000 to die due to complications with the disease in the coming year.
Why is the problem so serious?
Most diseases that cause people to pursue critical illness claims come with a range of symptoms or conditions that make them easy to detect. Kidney diseases, however, are the opposite. Kidney Health Australia noted that, of the nearly 2 million Australians with the disease, as many as 90 per cent won't be aware that anything is wrong.
CEO of the organisation Anne Wilson says that by being more proactive, people can easily get on top of these concerns.
"If chronic kidney disease can be detected early and managed appropriately, then the otherwise inevitable deterioration in kidney function can be reduced by as much as 50% and may even be reversible," she explained.
How expensive is treatment?
Collectively, the fight against kidney diseases is costing the country a massive amount of money, as dialysis machines and transplant operations aren't cheap solutions to what is becoming a more common problem.
The organisation reported that, in 2012, kidney disease accounted for $4.1 billion in spending nationwide, just $900 million of which was subsidised by the government.
Is it possible to tell if you might have kidney disease?
While the symptoms may be difficult to detect, there are a range of conditions that can make people more susceptible to the disease. These include being diabetic, possessing high blood pressure, obese and also being over the age of 60.
To find out more about making a critical illness claim, contact the team at Gerard Malouf and Partners.