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50 per cent high blood pressure patients may suffer from kidney damage: Doctors

IANS May 17, 2024

About 50 per cent of people with high blood pressure (BP) or hypertension are likely to experience kidney damage in the long term and may require dialysis or transplantation, said experts on 16 May ahead of World Hypertension Day.

World Hypertension Day is observed every year on May 17 to raise awareness about the "silent killer" that affects a whopping 188.3 million people in India.

"Uncontrolled hypertension may narrow, harden or weaken the arteries around the kidneys disturbing the kidney's process of filtering blood, regulating fluid and electrolytes in the body. Hypertension damages the blood vessels and filters in the kidney, and it is challenging to remove waste from the body," said L H Suratkal, Nephrologist.

"Unmanaged hypertension causes scarring of kidney tissue kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) leading to negative outcomes and deaths. About 30 per cent of people with hypertension tend to suffer from kidney damage in the long run and may require dialysis or transplantation," he added

High BP is also known to affect the heart, brain, and eyes. According to health experts, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, physical inactivity, and stress have increased the burden of hypertension in young Indians aged 15-60.

"The number of patients suffering from kidney disorders is increasing. About 80 to 100 patients come for treatment every month. Of those patients who come for treatment with kidney problems, 50 to 75 per cent are found to have hypertension," said Ruju Gala, Consultant Nephrologist & Renal Transplant Physician, in Mumbai.

The doctor explained that hypertension wreaks havoc on the kidney structure by straining the blood vessels in the kidneys and causing nephrosclerosis, where the kidneys become hard and their ability to filter waste products declines

"Hypertension also leads to an imbalance in the hormones and enzymes involved in managing blood pressure and maintaining fluid balance in the kidneys," Ruju.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), if half of the people with hypertension in India keep blood pressure under control, at least 4.6 million deaths can be averted by 2040.

To manage hypertension, the experts advised eating a nutritious diet, reducing sodium intake, maintaining an optimum weight, quitting smoking and alcohol, and avoiding intake of processed foods.

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