Why is ARDAC important?
Chronic kidney disease is affecting an increasing number of Australians. Despite being a highly preventable condition, one in three Australians are at risk of developing chronic kidney disease. People are often unaware of the dangers of chronic kidney disease and it can remain undiagnosed until the majority of kidney function is lost and damage is irreversible.
Research has shown that Aboriginal Australians are up to ten times more likely to suffer from chronic kidney disease. They are also diagnosed with kidney disease on average 12 years younger than non-Aboriginal Australians. The ARDAC study hopes to find some of the answers about why Aboriginal Australians experience such high rates of chronic kidney disease.
The first phase of the ARDAC study (2002-2007) found that there were no differences in the kidney and heart health between our Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants during childhood.
The second phase (2008 -2012) has found that a small gap is beginning to appear, particularly among Aboriginal girls. This seems to be driven by obesity. This leads us to believe that it is likely to be possible to prevent or delay the development of kidney disease and heart disease later in life. Monitoring the kidney and heart health of the ARDAC participants as they move from adolescence into adulthood may be the key to finding the answers about chronic kidney and heart disease prevention.
The third phase (2013-2017) is currently in progress and the results of this phase will be analysed soon.It is hoped that the results will build on the previous findings and provide more evidence to determine 'what' risk factors are contributing most to the high incidence of kidney and heart disease in Aboriginal adults, and 'when' these are developing.
Click here to read more detailed reports from the ARDAC Study.