A website aiming to raise awareness of the early detection of kidney disease through a simple home-based diagnostic method was launched here on Wednesday.

The website ( www.sugarbp.org) hosted by the Balaji Medical and Educational Trust seeks to help the layman understand the nexus between high blood pressure (BP) and diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD). It advocates a simple test of evaluating protein (albumin) loss in urine for an assessment of the health of the kidneys.

Launching the website, actor Kamal Haasan urged the public not to wait for magic substitutes (for sugar or salt) and to adopt preventive steps against blood pressure and diabetes.

He pledged his support to the public interest initiative which he hoped would help reduce the burden of CKD and other chronic diseases.

Rajan Ravichandran, director, MIOT Institute of Nephrology, outlined diabetes and high blood pressure as two of the commonest causes of CKD.

People predisposed to hypertension or who were diabetic could ill afford to wait for symptoms of CKD as the condition was asymptomatic in its early phases. While urine volume in itself was not a pointer to the state of the kidneys, an evaluation of protein leak in urine was a simple and accurate indicator of renal trouble and could even be done at home, Dr. Ravichandran said.

In India, with a CKD prevalence of 7 lakh and about 1.50 lakh cases being added every year, 98 per cent of the patients go without any treatment (dialysis or renal transplantation), he said.

The website is another measure undertaken by the trust to propagate awareness on CKD, the incidence of which is seeing dramatic rise worldwide.

Besides defining a person who can be classified diabetic or one with high blood pressure, the site also explains why CKD is asymptomatic, methods to detect the condition at an early stage and simple tips to control diabetes and BP.

The trust will periodically update the site with relevant information, Dr. Ravichandran said. R. Sundar, secretary of Hamsadhwani, also spoke.