File this under the tag: “understanding your body.” As we age, a whole spectrum of things can happen to our bodies, health-wise. Here, why don’t we train our attention on the kidneys, the organ that helps keep the body clean? A brand-new piece of health news suggests what risk we face for kidney failure later in life.
The main question the study asks: How likely are middle-aged adults to develop kidney failure during their lifetime? Researchers have studied this question and revealed facts that may help doctors with priorities and also help the public understand more about how to help the kidneys and prevent kidney disease. It will be published soon in the “Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.”
Kidney failure takes a significant toll on both individuals and the public as a whole, causing poor health in patients and generating considerable health-care costs. In spite of the impact of kidney failure, we haven’t had an accurate estimate of how likely it is for a person to develop it over the course of his or her life.
So now we have some answers. The study, which took place over 11 years at the University of Calgary, included information on nearly three million adult Alberta residents. All had no kidney failure at the beginning. Here are the central findings they discovered:
— About one in 40 men, and one in 60 women of middle age will develop kidney failure if they live into their 90s.
— This equals a 2.66% risk of kidney failure for men and a 1.76% risk for women.
— That risk rises considerably for those with reduced kidney function. For men, it is 7.51% and, for women, 3.21%.
— For people with relatively preserved kidney function, the rate is one percent and 0.63%, respectively.
— The lifetime risk of kidney failure is consistently higher for men at all ages and kidney function levels, compared with women.
The best health advice for preventing chronic kidney failure includes tips like these:
— Drink alcohol only in moderation.
— Closely follow the instructions on over-the-counter medications. For real. Even popping too many painkillers can hurt your kidneys.
— Keep a healthy weight and follow an exercise regimen that ensures it.
— If you smoke, hone your strategies for quitting.
— Don’t ignore any health problems. Manage all medical conditions with your doctor