VISAKHAPATNAM: There has been an alarming rise in the number of young kidney patients in India. According to doctors, sedentary lifestyle and addiction to tobacco and liquor has lead to a steep rise in renal diseases. At a time when the world is observing Kidney Day on the second Thursday in March, the medical fraternity in India is keen on spreading awareness on kidney related diseases and the need for timely treatment.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing global health concern, primarily as it increases patient mortality and morbidity. It also puts a major economic strain on the health care sector. In India alone, it is estimated that 150-200 million people in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) enter renal replacement programme annually.
“ESRD can only be treated by organ transplantation, which is indeed an expensive method. However, with regular checkup one can avoid increasing the risk factor of CKD,” says Dr Anil Kumar, consultant nephrologist and transplant physician at Apollo Hospitals.
The purpose of early diagnosis is detection of asymptomatic disease at a time when intervention has a reasonable potential of having a positive impact on the outcome.
“Our state is indeed on a developing curve, more people are being diagnosed and treated in various parts of AP,” Dr. Anil Kumar added.
“The incidence and prevalence of chronic kidney diseases are on the rise, but accurate numbers could not be found in India due to lack of disease registries and other data collection facilities,” said Dr. Prasad Gullipalli, associate professor of nephrology, KGH.
There are no published study reports in India on the prevalence of renal disease. Incidentally, no awareness programmes are conducted on the topic either. In the absence of any registry, all the data on the CKD is based on estimates from international research units, tertiary care centre data and collective experience of nephrologists.
“The government should encourage initiatives like Arogyasri health insurance programme of Andhra Pradesh and elevate it to a national-level scheme,” added Dr. Prasad.
In India, there is a rising burden of chronic diseases like hyper-tension and diabetics. The increase in the number of CKD patients can be partially attributed to the epidemic of chronic diseases and aging population. It is estimated that 25-40 per cent of diabetics are likely to develop CKD, with a significant percentage requiring to undergo renal replacement therapy.
“The health care system in our country is not designed to provide the required level of care for CKD at primary and secondary levels, and the situation has to change,” said Dr. Prasad.
Lack of awareness among the general public, water hygiene, unhealthy choice of food and beverages and lack of exercise are the key issues leading to CKD.