Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Kidney Stones and Kidney Failure

A recent article in the British Medical Journal says that kidney stones can double the risk of a person requiring dialysis or transplants. The study looked at over 3 million patients in Alberta, Canada over a 12 year period. They reported that those with a history of kidney stones were twice as likely to have serious kidney problems later in life when compared to people who had never suffered from kidney stones. Age was also an important factor (perhaps giving time for more damage to occur?) as those under 50 had more problems than those over 50; women seemed more susceptible too - women under the age of 50 years who had a history of kidney stones were four times as likely to later develop kidney failure.

It should be noted that the actual number of those who ended up requiring dialysis was low, but the risk was greater than in the normal population. When you are passing a stone through a kidney, there is definitely the potential for permanent damage.

People could try to decrease the likelihood of the development of kidney stones by decreasing their sodium intake, drinking more water and, if needed, taking certain medication, the researchers suggest. It has been previously observed that those who develop kidney stones have kidneys that don’t function at optimal levels, which is a factor in the whole issue.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Raises Dialysis Patient Death Risk

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)is the occurrence of chronic bronchitis or emphysema, a pair of commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to breathing problems. Smoking is one of the commonest causes of COPD. But if a patient starts dialysis, it increases the risk of death and decreases the chance that the patient will receive a transplant, according to recent research.

The research covered 769,984 US dialysis patients over a nine year period - with a large pool like this, the results are very much more reliable. It found that those suffering from COPd had a 20% increased risk of death compared with those who did not have COPD. If the patient also smoked, the risk increased by 28%. Smokers also had a lower chance of getting a transplant compared to non-smokers.