10 March 2011
By Revathi Ramanan
5% Of People Surveyed Under 20 Have Albumin In Urine Which Could Lead To Serious Diseases In Future
For the pilot study, the institute of nephrology at MIOT hospitals used a home detection kit that is dipped in urine to show presence of protein in the sample. During the study, 1,000 people were given the kits. A total of 265 returned them with feedback. Of this, 5% of the young population had urinary protein.
Doctors say that the main issue with kidney disease is the lack of early detection. If detected early, patients can avoid reaching the stage of dialysis, which indicates irreversible and serious kidney damage. "Simple health screening tests comprising of urine tests, blood tests and ultrasounds are important. Early diagnosis and treatment for kidney disease can significantly delay and even prevent kidney failure and need for dialysis," said Dr KC Prakash, head of department of nephrology, Apollo Hospital.
Dr Rajan Ravichandran, director of MIOT Institute of Nephrology, said the home detection kits would help in early detection, and added that they were targeting young people in colleges and IT firms to use this kit.
As per the National Kidney Foundation of India, 100 in 1 million suffer from kidney disease and around 90,000 people require transplants in a year. Only 22.5% of the patients requiring dialysis receive treatment, and 2.5% of the people actually receive transplants. "There are less than a thousand nephrologists in this country and, unless detected early, treating kidney disease could be a costly affair," Dr Ravichandran said. Estimates show that patients spend between 20,000 to 50,000 for treatment.
Giving tips to protect kidneys, Ravichandran said that the theme of this year’s kidney day is: "Protect your kidney; save you heart." He said that protecting the kidney would in turn shield the patient from heart diseases.
Dr Rajan also said that almost 90% of those who gave feedback in the survey were in the age group of 20–60, indicating that young people were more open and eager to respond to the test than older people. "Elderly people were more reluctant to respond. They either feared the test or had technical difficulties," he said. The hospital also gave away 1,000 more kits to young people to spread awareness.
Healthy Lifestyle Can Lower Risk
- Reduce salt intake. 10% reduction in salt will reduce blood pressure by 5 mm
- Eat a balanced diet
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes daily as this can drastically reduce the risk of kidney and heart disease
- Stop smoking
- Avoid over–the–counter medicines as these could contain heavy metals which can affect the kidneys
- Check for the presence of protein in urine once a year as this could indicate if you have kidney disease
If morning walks are not a part of your routine, Thursday is a good day to start, on Marina Beach. Besides improving your health, you can also find out if your kidneys are functioning normally. On World Kidney Day, the Government General Hospital will conduct a free screening camp near the Labour statue for morning walkers between 6am and 8am. After noting down blood pressure and blood glucose level, the nurses will hand over a bottle for a urine test.
Mobile toilets will be stationed on the beach. The results will be available on Friday. Senior doctors will also answer questions on prevention and management of kidney diseases and films on kidney diseases will be screened. Dr S Kanakasabai, dean, Madras Medical College said that the camp will help in increase awareness about kidney diseases. Just as the doctors wind up, 500 students will participate in a walkathon that will be organised by the Tanker foundation from Labour statue to Gandhi statue. The Walkathon will be flagged off by chief vigilance officer (Aavin) Prateep Philip. In the evening, actor Suriya, will attend the inauguration of an inter–college cultural competition at the School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University.
Kidney & Heart: the Health Connection
- The kidney’s function is to regulate blood pressure by removing sodium from the blood
- The kidney produces a hormone, renin, which maintains blood pressure
- People with kidney disease are three times more likely to develop heart disease
- Kidney malfunction could result in increased blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular diseases