12 March 2009
Docs’ Advice on World Kidney Day is ‘˜Keep Pressure Down’
“In my youthful ignorance, I didn’t take medicines on time and landed up with kidney failure four years after my hypertension was detected,” says the Borivli resident.
In order to spread awareness about hypertension’s link to chronic kidney disease (CKD), the theme for the World Kidney Day on Thursday has been chosen as “keep the pressure down”. Dr Bharat V Shah, consultant nephrologist at Lilavati Hospital, said 3 lakh to 4 lakh people in India are detected with kidney ailment every year. “About 50% to 60% of the kidney failures are due to diabetes and high blood pressure,” he added.
What doctors are really worried about is the increasing prevalence of hypertension among Indians. “In the past few years, irregular lifestyle has triggered a rise in obesity, which is a risk factor for both diabetes and hypertension, the leading causes for chronic kidney disease,” said Dr N Hase of civic-run KEM Hospital.
This, indeed, is a reason for India to worry. As Dr Hemant Mehta of the Mumbai Nephrology Group said, “The Indian Council for Medical Research has pegged the burden of chronic kidney disease in India at 150 to 200 new cases per million population per year.” He feels people’s lack of awareness about the link between hypertension and kidney failure is the leading cause for the high incidence of the disease. “It would have been better if patients with hypertension and diabetes knew there was a way to prevent chronic kidney disease with medication,” he said.
Dr Umesh Khanna, the nephrologist who is treating Bhuta, said, “There is a rule of half, which worsens the pitch for Indians. Half the people with hypertension don’t know they have the disease. Half of those who do, don’t adhere to the medication. Moreover, half of those who take medication fail to bring in lifestyle changes that lower blood pressure to the normal level. These people will suffer organ damage.”
Bhuta feels that people should not ignore hypertension as a mundane occurrence. “One should seek help before it is too late for medicines to help,” he added.
The kidney test: Are you at risk?
Do you have high blood pressure? Do you suffer from diabetes? Are you overweight? Do you smoke? Are you over 50 years? Do you have a family history of kidney disease?
What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
CKD is present when individuals have an increase in excretion of albumin in the urine or a major decrease in kidney function or glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
CKD’s link with high BP
When people suffer from high blood pressure it puts more stress on blood vessels throughout the body, including the kidneys. When this happens kidneys cannot filter waste from the blood properly.