Creating Awareness for World Kidney Day

10% of the population worldwide is impacted by some form of kidney damage. Thursday,9 March 2017, is the 12th edition of World Kidney Day – the most widely celebrated event focused on kidney health across the globe.

This year’s theme is “Kidney Disease and Obesity”

It promotes education on the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney disease, advocating a healthy lifestyle and healthcare strategy recommendations that  tackle the magnitude of the burden of obesity and kidney disease.

Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic

In 2014 over 600 million people worldwide were affected by obesity and this number is expected to increase by 40% or more in the next decade. Obesity and overweight consitute the fifth highest risk factor for adult global deaths. This is because obesity, as it is well-known, is a risk factor of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

A less well recognised (but equally important) complication of obesity is Chronic Kidney Disease. Obesity may cause chronic kidney disease through various ways. On the one hand, it could contribute to it indirectly, by inducing or worsening diabetes and hypertension, themselves well-recognised risk factors of kidney disease. On the other hand, obesity could also cause kidney damage directly, by placing an unduly high burden on the kidneys over many years (a larger body needs more kidney function after all), and also by causing harmful metabolic changes such as inflammation and oxidation.

It is estimated that 13,8% of chronic kidney disease in men and 24,9% of chronic kidney disease in women in industrialised countries may be associated with being overweight or obesity. Besides its now well-recognized association with chronic kidney disease, obesity has also been recognised to be a risk factor for kidney stones, and for various types of cancers like kidney cancer and others.

Individuals affected by obesity have an 83% increased risk of chronic kidney disease

It is now clear that successful weight loss can result in improved control of diabetes and of high blood pressure, and it can lower the risk for developing chronic kidney disease.

“The best means to fight chronic kidney disease is prevention: it is thus paramount to identify the threat and all of its possible risk factors, such as obesity. Obesity is preventable and treatable, but reversing the tide will require concerted efforts not just from healthcare providers, but from the entire society”, explains Dr. Csaba Kovesdy, Professor of Nephrology at University of Tennessee Health Science Centre, Memphis, TN, US and Chief of Nephrology at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

This year World Kidney Day promotes education on the harmful consequences of obesity

This includes its association with kidney disease, advocating a healthy lifestyle and healthcare recommendations to tackle the magnitude of the burden of obesity and kidney disease.

Keeping fit reduces high blood pressure and obesity, two of the leading causes of kidney disease. This is a vivid reminder that regular exercise and physical activity help to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease. Moving is a simple yet powerful action that creates a link between our health and our daily routine.

This article is excerpted from www.worldkidneyday.org