7 February 2014

REGULAR SCREENINGS IMPORTANT: Young Malaysians urged to look after their renal health to avoid the onset of kidney failure.

IPOH: EACH year in Malaysia, about 5,000 new patients need haemodialysis treatment.

This figure, made up largely of elderly people, could rise with the increasing number of young Malaysians developing diabetes and high blood pressure.

According to the chairman of National Kidney Foundation board of directors, Datuk Dr Zaki Morad Mohd Zaher, the number of Malaysians suffering from kidney disease had increased.

He said 9.2 per cent of the population suffered from kidney disease.

However, Dr Zaki said haemodialysis patients formed a small part of the overall kidney patients.

“Haemodialysis patients are still a small group, but as patients age, their kidneys will fail and they will need haemodialysis treatment.

“There is also a worry that there will be younger patients needing such treatment,” he said when met at a National Kidney Foundation programme here yesterday.

He said the number of young Malaysians contracting diseases that could contribute to kidney ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure were increasing.

Unless they obtained early treatment, they could suffer early kidney failure, he added.

Dr Zaki also said out of every 100 new patients with kidney problems, at least 56 were diabetics.

He added that diabetes was the common cause of kidney disease.

“Diabetes will lead to kidney failure but it depends on the treatment obtained by patients.

“For diabetics, kidney problems could begin to surface 10 years after developing diabetes.

“It is, therefore, important for people with diabetes or high blood pressure to have regular checks of their kidneys.

“Proper treatment can delay the onset of kidney failure,” he said, adding that early screening would enable doctors to detect kidney problems in patients before the condition worsened.

This article was first published in www.nst.com.my on 17 June 2013.