Renal disease in Top 10 leading cause of death in Philippines

Jun. 19, 2007

KORONADAL CITY — The prevalence of kidney/renal diseases has been in an increasing trend, especially the end-stage renal disease (ERSD) as reported in the Philippine Renal Disease Registry (PRDR). The rate of death due to end-stage renal disease has been in the top ten list of the mortality of the Department of Health (DOH).

This was disclosed by Estela Ilagan, nurse coordinator of the Department of Health in region 12 who also said that one Filipino develops chronic renal failure every hour or about 120 Filipinos per million populations per year. More than 5, 000 Filipino patients are presently undergoing dialysis and approximately 1.1 million people worldwide are on renal replacement therapy. Reliable estimates reveal that the number of these patients might double in 2010, Ilagan told government, the private sector and media practitioners during the Kapihan sa SOCSKSARGEN sponsored by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) held at Casa Gemma, Koronadal City.

The DOH nurse coordinator said that in the past, chronic glomerulonephritis was the most common cause of chronic renal failure. Today, diabetes mellitus and hypertension have taken center stage in increasing the risk of ESRD which together account for almost 60% of dialysis patients. The epidemic of diabetes and the related diabetic nephropathy has largely contributed to the increase of ischemic heart disease as well as overall cardiovascular mortality worldwide.

She further said that the cost of medical treatment for most of the acquired kidney disease has been so expensive. Renal transplantation is limited because of the shortage of donors not only in the Philippines but worldwide.

The best that we can do at present is to concentrate our efforts on the prevention of the progression of renal diseases. We should redouble our efforts to remind the public on the need to pay attention to maintain their blood sugar and blood pressure at the normal level. Prevention through a healthy lifestyle plays a major role to reduce if not totally control the epidemic of renal failure and this could be achieved through proper education, Ilagan advised her audience.

With that, we will be able to help decrease or at least slow down the increase in statistics of patients suffering from kidney problems, she concluded. (DOH12/PIA12)

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