People in the North West are the most at risk when to comes to kidney disease, according to a study.
Eighty-four per cent of people from the region have little or no knowledge of kidney disease, its causes or its symptoms.
Worse still, although kidney disease can affect anyone at any age, 55 per cent think the illness poses no threat to them, while 39 per cent say they are not sure.
The figures were released after more than 2,000 adults were polled in a survey for Kidney Research UK.
Sandra Currie, chief executive of Kidney Research UK, said: “This survey highlights a deeply worrying lack of awareness in the North West when it comes to kidney disease and goes some way to explain why the disease has reached epidemic proportions in the UK.
“Even people who are at significantly increased risk from the illness because of pre-existing conditions appear to be completely in the dark.
“With the number of patients who need treatment for kidney failure rising by more than four per cent each year and very limited funding available for research into new treatments, we have all the makings of a very real public health crisis.”
For more information about kidney disease, the symptoms and causes can be found at kidneyresearchuk.org.