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Wednesday, 25 March 2015 12:07

Stop Kidney Disease Initiative: STOP is an acronym for Stop the Obesity Pandemic

Stop Kidney Disease Initiative intends to help prevent Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) in people. Addressing lifestyle behaviors like exercise and diet to combat obesity, diabetes mellitus and hypertension should help prevent kidney disease in majority of patients.

There is an alarming global rise in the number of people with CKD which may be preventable in the majority of patients. In the United States, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) estimates that about 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and one in three Americans is at risk of developing this silent disease.

About 600,000 patients with CKD have ESRD, treated by either dialysis or transplantation. There is an 8-10 fold increase in mortality from cardiovascular diseases in patients with CKD. Furthermore, there is increased pill burden, unnecessary stress, loss of productivity, increased hospitalizations and costs from CKD.

Kidneys are important organs that clear toxins from the body and also maintain the balance of fluids and important electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Advanced kidney disease can result in poor bone health, blood pressure problems and anemia. Eventually when the kidneys fail completely, life is sustained through transplantation of kidney or dialysis.

Diabetes and hypertension are considered major risk factors of CKD accounting for more than 70% of the kidney disease in adult population. Currently, there are more than 25 million patients with diabetes and 74 million patients with hypertension in the United States. An unhealthier lifestyles, so common in today’s society, has increased obesity rates, thereby increasing the burden of diabetes, hypertension, CKD and ESRD.

According to Dr Beth Piraino, the past president of NKF: “the unfortunate globalization of the fast food market combined with unhealthy eating and obesity play a major role in the rise of chronic kidney disease.”  

There is need for a more proactive approach towards modifying lifestyle factors with increased activity and healthier diets. This will help prevent the onset of obesity, subsequently decreasing the rates of diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease along with several other chronic non communicable diseases (NCD’s).

Activity should include at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Diets should have a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables, low sugar and salt foods. Patients are also encouraged to talk to their physicians about modification of lifestyle risk factors. Currently, this seems to be the only way to control the silent epidemic of kidney disease in the United States and across the globe.                                          
                           

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