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Credit: topnews.in

A report by the Institute of Health and Welfare reveals there has been a spike of 70 per cent in the number of Australians being admitted to the hospital for kidney dialysis.

The number is predicted to keep rising as more Australian age, it says.

Another significant study found that a delayed dialysis, until after the symptoms of the disease are exhibited, is a better approach.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare examined data on patients getting treatments for chronic kidney disease and found that the number of hospitalizations for regular dialysis in the country had increased by 71 per cent (an additional 60,000 admissions per year) from 2001 to 2008.

There are two primary risk factors for the chronic disease, said Francis Green, researcher and they are increased age and type 2 diabetes - both are increasing the community which indicates an increasing trend for kidney disease.

Dr Tim Matthew, medical director of Kidney Health Australia said the report is concerning as it is by far the biggest growth area for admissions to hospitals.

Although he was not surprised with the increase, he said it was very disappointing that the continually increasing number of cases over the previous ten years at about 6 per cent per year is not showing any sign of decreasing.

Chronic kidney disease contributed to about 15 per cent of all hospitalizations in Australia back in 2008 and that regular dialysis accounted for 4 per cent of all bed days.

According to Dr Pauline Braney, there is a new trend of placing patients on dialysis early in an effort to prevent heart problems.

However, the result of an eight-year trial involving more than 800 kidney patients in Australia and New Zealand proved that early dialysis is not always effective.

Dr Branley said, It showed that patients closely supervised, in which dialysis was delayed for about six months, did just as well as those in whom we started it earlier.

Dr Matthew believes that prevention is the key and to cut down the burden on health system.

He said if kidney disease is identified early, and people take care of their blood pressure, sugar intake and cholesterol level, the rate of disease progression can be slowed down and the number of people going for dialysis treatments can be cut down.

What is needed is a program that focuses of kidney disease prevention just like there is with diabetes, said Dr Matthew.