The second Thursday of March is celebrated as World Kidney Day, which aims to raise awareness about the prevalence and dangers of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Today, the date also coincides with the celebration of Women’s Day. Globally, 195 million women suffer from CKD.
CDK costs 600,000 women their lives every year, which makes it the eighth-leading cause of death among women worldwide. The disease refers to the gradual loss of kidney function and its symptoms vary depending on the degree of damage and include fluid retention, anemia, increased risks of bone fractures, decreased immune response, pericarditis and, eventually, permanent damage to the kidneys. In its first stages, CKD can be unobtrusive and have little impact on the patient’s life, but if left unchecked it can end in kidney failure requiring hemodialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. Its causes are numerous, including diabetes type 1 and 2, high blood pressure, polycystic kidney disease, lupus nephritis, pyelonephritis and interstitial nephritis.
Mexico currently has a total 160,000 individuals in the most advanced stage of CKD. While common recommendations to prevent CKD include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking and paying close attention to the side effects of medications, specific tests such as glomerular filtration rate (GFR) can measure kidney function and determine the stage of kidney disease, if any.
CKD can affect any individual of any age and gender, thus awareness of the risks and ways to prevent it is essential. This year’s World Kidney Day aims to increase awareness of the importance of timely diagnosis and proper follow-up of CDK at all stages of women’s lives, with a higher emphasis during pregnancy, through education and prevention campaigns.