Cases of kidney failure on the rise

The Department of Health (DOH) is alarmed over the soaring cases of kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease, in the country due to unhealthy lifestyle of Filipinos.

Antonio Paraiso, DOH program manager for the Philippine Network for Organ Sharing, said close to 23,000 patients were undergoing dialysis treatment in 2013.

The figure does not include those suffering from kidney failure but who are not able to get treatment.

“We have almost 130 per million-population getting sick of kidney failure each year. So that’s more than 120,000 cases in 2013. They are the patients that need kidney transplantation,” Paraiso said in a press briefing.

“That’s a big number. In 2004, we only had some 4,000 patients on dialysis treatment. At the end of 2013, close to 23,000 and it is still increasing. You have about 10- to 15-percent increase per year,” he added.

Paraiso noted that the leading cause of kidney failure is diabetes, followed by hypertension and glomerulonephritis where the part of the kidney that helps filter waste and fluid in the blood is damaged.

He also noted that glomerulonephritis used to be the primary cause of kidney failure until it was overtaken by diabetes and hypertension, which are “both lifestyle diseases.”

“As our lives change, our behavior changes and even the illnesses we suffer also change with it. And with the increasing trend of having more and more patients suffering from diabetes and hypertension, they have one and two (risk factors) for kidney failureCases of kidney failure on the rise,” he said.

To prevent kidney failure, it is important for a person to have their urine analyzed by a competent doctor at least once a year.

“The second (strategy) would be lifestyle change. Hypertension and diabetes are considered lifestyle illnesses and you can change your lifestyle,” Paraiso added.