Chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease, or chronic kidney disease, involves a gradual loss of kidney function. This condition can lead to the accumulation of fluids, electrolytes and wastes in the body, which increase the risk of other complications such as heart or vascular failure. It is an important health problem because its prevalence is approximately 7% in people over 30 years of age, and can reach 20% in people over 60 years of age.
Chronic kidney disease is considered to be the result of an accumulation of pathologies that affect the kidney in a chronic and irreversible manner. The pathologies that can lead to chronic nephropathy are:
- Diabetes type 1 and 2.
- Interstitial nephritis.
- Polycystic kidney disease.
- Vesicourethral reflux.
- Recurrent renal infection (pyelonephritis).
In addition to these pathologies that can cause renal damage, there are other environmental factors that can increase the risk of developing chronic kidney disease:
- Ethnic origin, being more common in people of African-American or Asian descent.
- Use of some medications.
Signs and symptoms of the disease manifest over time and are most evident in advanced stages. They include:
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Loss of appetite.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Muscle cramps.
- Edemas in lower limbs (swelling of feet and ankles).
- eyelid edema (swelling of the eyes).
- Dry and itchy skin.
- Polyuria (need to urinate more frequently) and nocturia (need to urinate more, especially at night).
- Shortness of breath (if fluid builds up in the lungs).
Chronic kidney disease can appear at any age, but it is more frequent after 65 years of age. Prevention involves preventing, controlling and/or treating those disorders that can cause kidney damage in order to avoid their development or progression. Actions include:
- Control blood pressure.
- In case of diabetes, control sugar levels.
- Healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet and exercising frequently.
- Avoid smoking.
13.5 million variants
Wuttke M, Li Y, Li M, et al. A catalog of genetic loci associated with kidney function from analyses of a million individuals. Nature Genetics. 2019 Jun;51(6):957-972.