A Consultant Nephrologist, Dr Theophillus Umeizudike, has said women are more at risk of developing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) than men.
Umeizudike, who works at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, made this known in an interview with the press in Lagos.
He spoke against the backdrop of the World Kidney Day (WKD) marked annually on the second Thursday in March.
The 2018 WKD coincides with International Women’s Day (IWD), marked annually on March 8 and the theme for this year’s WKD is “Kidneys and Women’s Health: Include, Value, Empower.”
The consultant said factors such as pregnancy induced hypertension, unwanted pregnancies resulting to abortion, and auto-immune diseases put women at risk of kidney disease.
Umeizudike added that “women with progressing pregnancies may be at risk of pregnancy induced hypertension which usually tends to affect teenagers or those in their early 20s and late 40s.
“Also, those who have had many children may be at risk of pregnancy induced hypertension, a risk factor for pre-eclampsia or eclampsia and these can impact on both mother and child.
“The other aspect of women’s health that makes them prone to kidney disease is that women tend to have auto-immune diseases, a condition where the body fights itself.
“The diseases common to women include systemic lupus erythematosus, arthritis, and many other disorders which affect the kidneys.”
He, therefore, advised women of reproductive age and were pregnant to register in a health facility to be well monitored during pregnancy.
He also advised women who had unwanted pregnancies not to terminate them as it could result to infections which could cause kidney diseases.
He noted that “one in five per cent of women may be affected by pregnancy induced hypertension and so they need to be detected early to prevent complications.
“Usually, women who were treated for eclampsia during pregnancy may have their blood pressures normalised after delivery.
“However, some years down the line, the woman may be at risk of developing hypertension, a risk factor for kidney disease.
“So, if treated during pregnancy, women still need to be monitored to be sure she is not developing hypertension or it is not persisting.
“Women should also imbibe the culture of checking their health status on yearly basis to be sure that there is nothing wrong with their vital organs.”
According to an online journal — Kidney International — WKD and IWD commemorated on the same day is an opportunity to highlight the importance of women’s health and particularly their kidney health.
The journal is the official journal of the International Society of Nephrology.
It stated that “on its 13th anniversary, WKD promotes affordable and equitable access to health education, health care, and prevention for all women and girls in the world.
“The coinciding of WKD and IWD offers an opportunity to develop and define best practices and future research agendas.
Ultimately, to optimise outcomes of present and future generations living with or at risk for kidney disease.
“Advocating for improved access to care for women is critical to maintain the health of families, communities and populations,” he said.