10,000 Pinoys need kidney replacement each year

By Anna Valmero

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA—More and more Filipinos are developing renal problems, with at least 10,000 Filipinos requiring kidney replacement each year due to unhealthy habits, according to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI).

This makes kidney failure the ninth leading cause of death among Filipinos today, said NKTI executive director Dr. Aileen Riego-Javier.

Only around 86 percent of Filipinos with kidney failure, however, can undergo dialysis, while only 14 percent can afford transplants due to expensive costs.

Without dialysis or kidney transplant, patients with kidney failure or end stage renal disease (ESRD) can die, said the NKTI official.

“Of those who start dialysis, majority survive only about one and a half years due to cardiovascular disease that increases with renal failure,” said Dr. Antonio R. Paraiso, NKTI’s renal disease control program (REDCOP) manager.

Based on the Philippine Renal Disease Registry, the top causes of kidney failure in the country is diabetes (44.6 percent), followed by high blood pressure (23 percent), and inflammation of the kidneys (19.3 percent).

To avoid kidney failure, the public is urged to eat healthy and avoid drinking too much alcohol, as well as having an annual urinalysis and blood sugar level tests. Keeping the blood pressure at normal level will also prevent or delay development of kidney problems that usually lead to ESRD, said Paraiso.

As part of the community service of NKTI this National Kidney Month, the first 50 patients will be served a free kidney check-up on each Friday of June.

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