“March 10 marks World Kidney Day. In this context – and under the international motto “Know more to treat better” – the Portuguese Society of Nephrology (SPN) has launched a questionnaire with the aim of assessing knowledge in kidney and kidney diseases among the Portuguese population,” the SPN said in a statement.
“Of the total responses collected (n=488), 11% of respondents said they had never heard of chronic kidney disease, a pathology that affects 20% of the Portuguese population,” he adds.
Characterized by damage resulting in the progressive and irreversible loss of kidney function, chronic kidney disease has several levels of severity, the worst being stage 5, in which the kidneys stop working completely and the patient, to stay alive , must undergo dialysis or kidney transplantation. In Portugal, almost 21,000 people are in this situation and the numbers have been steadily increasing, warns the SPN.
In addition to their excretory function – with a function of cleaning the blood with toxic substances to be eliminated through urine – the kidneys are also responsible for controlling blood pressure, producing the hormone that stimulates the production of blood cells red blood cells and the activation of vitamin D, which contributes to healthy bones. They therefore play a key role in the balance of the body, which is why it is important to increase the knowledge of the population, allowing better renal care. In the survey, 28% of respondents mentioned only the excretory function of the kidneys, with 71% demonstrating knowledge about other functions that this organ performs.
“Faced with a situation of renal insufficiency, it is important to replace the function of the kidneys by applying the technique of dialysis. High economic burden considering the price of the treatments. 99% of the respondents showed that they know the function of the kidneys. ‘hemodialysis’, warns the SPN.