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Kidney Disease: A Rising Problem

Keeping our kidneys healthy is key to staying well
12:00 AM Apr 24, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
kidney disease  a rising problem

In recent years, kidney health has become a big concern worldwide. More people are facing problems like chronic kidney disease (CKD), kidney stones, and infections, putting a strain on public health systems. This article looks at these growing issues and how we can deal with them.


CKD is affecting millions globally and is becoming like an epidemic. High blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity make it worse. Kidney stones are also becoming more common, causing severe pain and other problems. Bad eating habits, not drinking enough water, and some health conditions make them more likely.


Acute Kidney Injury is another serious problem, often caused by infections or medications. It can lead to permanent kidney damage if not treated quickly. End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is when the kidneys fail completely, needing dialysis or a transplant to stay alive. But not everyone can access these treatments easily, which isn't fair.

To tackle these kidney problems, we need to do a lot of things. We should focus on preventing them in the first place, catching them early, and making sure everyone can get the care they need. By improving lifestyles, spotting risks early, and finding new ways to provide healthcare, we can handle these kidney issues and keep people healthier for years to come.


Every year, people around the world observe World Kidney Day. It's a big event to remind us all about how important kidney health is. This day started in 2006 and has grown into a global effort involving doctors, policymakers, patients, and everyone else. The goal is to teach people about kidney health, find problems early, and make sure everyone gets the right care they need.


Our kidneys are crucial organs. They clean our blood, control our blood pressure, make hormones, and keep our body's balance in check. When they don't work right, it can lead to serious health issues like CKD, kidney stones, infections, and even kidney failure. Things like high blood pressure, diabetes, being overweight, and smoking can make kidney problems worse. And some people are more at risk due to their genes or where they live. Keeping our kidneys healthy is key to staying well.


Addressing the Main Reasons Behind Increased Kidney Diseases and Prevention Strategies:


Even though medical science is getting better at treating illnesses, kidney problems are still increasing. Here are the main reasons why and what we can do to stop it:

  1. Diabetes and High Blood Pressure: These are the top reasons why people get kidney diseases. We need to eat healthy, exercise, and take medicine to control them.
  2. Being Overweight: Carrying too much weight is bad for the kidneys. Eating healthy and staying active can help.
  3. Smoking and Drinking Alcohol: Smoking and drinking alcohol are bad for kidney health. Quitting smoking and alcohol are important.
  4. Bad Eating Habits: Eating too much salt, processed foods, fats, and sugars can hurt the kidneys. Eating healthy foods can keep them healthy.
  5. Misusing Medications: Some medicines can harm the kidneys if not used correctly. Always follow the doctor's instructions.
  6. Genetics and Environment: Some people are more likely to get kidney diseases because of their genes or where they live. Staying away from harmful chemicals and getting regular check-ups can help catch problems early.

Global and Regional Statistics on Kidney Diseases:

Kidney diseases pose a significant public health challenge worldwide, with millions of people affected by various kidney-related conditions. Here are some key statistics highlighting the global and regional burden of kidney diseases:

  1. Many people around the world have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), which affects about 10% of the population. It's more common in certain areas, like Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Western Pacific, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
  2. End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) is the final stage of CKD, where the kidneys fail completely. To survive, people with ESKD need treatments like dialysis or kidney transplants. Over 2.5 million people globally get these treatments, and the number is growing because of factors like aging populations and more cases of diabetes and high blood pressure.
  3. Diabetes and high blood pressure are big reasons why people get CKD and ESKD worldwide. About 40% of people with diabetes end up with kidney disease, and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys over time, leading to kidney failure.

Kidney Disease Statistics in India:

India faces a big problem with kidney diseases because of factors like poverty, limited healthcare, and more people having diabetes and high blood pressure. Here are some stats about kidney diseases in India:

  1. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Around 8-17% of adults in India have CKD, and it's more common in cities because of unhealthy diets and not enough exercise.
  2. End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD): India has a lot of people with ESKD, with over 200,000 new cases every year. But there aren't enough resources for treatments like dialysis or kidney transplants.
  3. Diabetes and Hypertension: India has a lot of adults with diabetes, around 77 million, and many people with high blood pressure. These conditions make kidney diseases more common.
  4. Access to Care: Many Indians, especially in rural areas, struggle to get good healthcare because of things like poverty and not enough awareness about kidney diseases.

To fix these problems, we need to spread awareness, encourage healthy habits, make healthcare more available, and invest in research. It'll take teamwork from governments, healthcare groups, and communities to make sure everyone can live a healthy life without worrying about kidney diseases.

The Government of India is taking steps to fight kidney diseases and improve kidney health. Here are some important initiatives:

  1. National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Stroke (NPCDCS): This program aims to prevent and control diseases like diabetes and hypertension, which can lead to kidney problems. It offers health services in various healthcare facilities across the country.
  2. National Dialysis Program: This program provides affordable dialysis services to people with kidney failure. Dialysis units are set up in hospitals all over India to make treatment accessible.
  3. Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Program (PMNDP): PMNDP offers free dialysis services to people who can't afford them. It helps set up dialysis centers and covers the costs for eligible patients.
  4. Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY): This healthcare program covers over 500 million vulnerable people. It includes treatments for kidney diseases in both public and private hospitals.
  5. National Organ Transplant Program: This program promotes organ donation and transplantation, including kidneys. It raises awareness, streamlines processes, and improves infrastructure for transplants.
  6. National Health Mission (NHM): NHM aims to improve healthcare in rural areas. It focuses on prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of diseases like kidney problems.

By promoting prevention, improving access to care, and raising awareness, we can protect kidney health and improve overall well-being. Taking steps like eating well, staying active, managing health conditions, and getting regular check-ups can help prevent kidney problems. Empowering people with knowledge and resources is key to building a healthier future for everyone.

By Abid Shafi, from Nambla Uri