‘Chronic kidney diseases affect women more than men’

ISLAMABAD: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a worldwide public health problem with adverse outcomes of kidney failure and premature deaths.

CKD affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and it is currently the eighth leading cause of death in women, with close to 600,000 deaths each year.

Shifa International Hospital (SIH) Nephrologist Consultant Dr Syed Farhat Abbas shared these statistics with the participants of an awareness seminar on the occasion of World Kidney Day and International Women’s Day at the hospital premises.

Renowned Pakistani adventure athlete Samar Khan was also invited among other speakers, to motivate and inspire the audience. She said that World Kidney Day and the International Women’s Day 2018 were commemorated on the same day, offering us an opportunity to reflect on the importance of women’s health and specifically their kidney health.

“Kidney Day promotes affordable and equitable access of general public to healthcare education and awareness,” Samar Khan said. She also expressed her interest to play her part to further empower women with health education.

Dr Syed Farhat Abbas shared that the risk of developing CKD was at least as high in women as in men and may even be higher than men. “According to some studies, CKD is more likely to get developed in women compared to men, with an average 14 percent prevalence in women and 12 percent in men,” he said, adding that CKD progression was slower in women as compared to men, psycho-socioeconomic barriers such as lower disease awareness lead to late or no start of dialysis among women and uneven access to care are among major issues in countries with no universal access to healthcare. He observed that unlike many diseases, kidney disease often had no symptoms until it was very advanced.

“To keep your kidneys healthier for longer time, a very important step is to learn about the disease and also get your kidneys tested on periodic basis,” he recommended. SIH Nephrologist Consultant Dr Khawaja Sayeed Ahmed said that some kidney diseases, such as lupus nephropathy or kidney infections typically affect women.

“Lupus nephritis is a kidney disease caused by an autoimmune disease, which is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the own cells and organs. Pyelonephritis is a potentially severe infection that involves one or both kidneys,” he said.

 Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2018.