Why chronic kidney disease is a global public health issue

Chronic kidney disease increases the risk of heart attack and stroke and, in some cases, can progress to kidney failure requiring dialysis and/or a kidney transplant.

Around 600 million persons worldwide have some form of kidney damage. Recognised as a global public health issue, chronic kidney diseaseis predicted to increase by 17% over the next decade.

One in 10 people have chronic kidney disease

Kidney disease can affect people of all ages and origins. It is estimated that about one in 10 people have some degree of chronic kidney disease.

Although chronic kidney disease can occur at any age, it becomes more common as one gets older. After the age of 40, kidney filtration begins to fall by approximately one per cent per year.

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On top of the natural ageing of the kidneys, many conditions which damage the kidneys are more common in older people including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

How to protect your kidneys

There are several easy ways to reduce your risk of developing kidney disease. Watch the following video or read the tips belowâ?¦

  • Get regular exercise

  • Maintain a steady blood sugar level

  • Monitor your blood pressure

  • Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy body weight

  • Maintain a healthy fluid intake

  • Do not smoke

  • Avoid taking over-the-counter pills on a regular basis

Early detection is critical

If detected early and managed appropriately, kidney function deterioration can be slowed or stopped. Chronic kidney disease may be harmful, but it is treatable.

With World Kidney Day being celebrated this month (13 March 2014), itâ??s worth talking to your doctor about your kidneys should you have any concerns.

â??Our mission is to stimulate awareness, discussion, education and policy development leading to improved prevention and treatment of chronic kidney diseaseâ?¦â? says Prof John Feehally, co-chair of the World Kidney Day steering committee.

“This yearâ??s theme is focused on chronic kidney disease and ageing – about half of people aged 75 or more have some degree of chronic kidney disease. We want them to be smart about their kidneys, by taking simple blood and urine tests to detect chronic kidney disease early. Our message to the general public is: Talk to your doctor.”

For more information, visit www.worldkidneyday.org

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.