On World Kidney Day today, the Indian Council of Medical Research (IMA) said the prevalence of kidney-related diseases has almost doubled in the past decade and is expected to rise further.

IMA General Secretary R N Tandon said the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension in urban adult population has risen to 20 per cent as per the Indian Council of Medical Research data.

“With rising prevalence of various lifestyle diseases in India, prevalence of kidney disease has also almost doubled in the last decade and is expected to rise further,” Tandon said.

“Besides the large and ever growing burden of non-communicable diseases (diabetes and hypertension), various people are affected by kidney diseases due to over-the- counter drugs and traditional medicines containing heavy metals which harm the kidneys,” the IMA general secretary said.

On this World Kidney Day, which coincides with the International Women’s Day, the IMA said it wishes to bring the focus back on kidney health and emphasises the important role played by women in the health of their family and the society.

The risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) is at least as high in women as in men, and may even be higher. However, the number of women on dialysis in India is lower than the number of men, Tandon said.

The IMA launched a Kidney Disease Prevention project today, as part of which screening and awareness drives will be organised to identify the population at risk.

Garima Aggarwal, the convener of the project, said: “Every year pregnancy related kidney diseases account for a major cause of maternal mortality in our country. The burden of chronic kidney diseases in India is approximately 800 affected per million people (pmp) with 230 pmp with advanced kidney disease needing some form of renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis or renal transplantation.”

“It is clear that treatment of kidney disease and its advanced stage end stage renal disease is expensive and beyond the reach of average Indian. Thus, it is crucial that prevention of chronic kidney disease has to be the goal of medical fraternity, government of India and the general public,” Aggarwal said.