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Kidney ailments to affect more

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Over 5 mn will undergo dialysis, kidney transplant by 2030: Study

11064427_10155307395065483_1113423242_oThe number of people receiving treatment for advanced kidney failure – such as dialysis or kidney transplant – will double to over five million by 2030, mostly in developing regions such as Asia and Africa, a study said on Saturday.

Renal replacement therapy (RRT), through either dialysis or renal transplantation, is a lifesaving yet high-cost treatment for people with end-stage kidney disease.

According to the latest research published in the UK-based The Lancet by the George Institute for Global Health, the number of people receiving RRT is projected to grow from 2.618 million in 2010 to 5.439 million by 2030.

“However, the number of people without access to RRT will remain substantial,” the study titled ‘Worldwide access to treatment for end-stage kidney disease: a systematic review’, said.

The largest absolute growth in the number of people receiving RRT is projected to rise from 0.968 million people in 2010 to 2.162 million by 2030 in Asia.

The number of people receiving RRT is also forecast to increase rapidly in Africa, from 0.083 million in 2010 to 0.236 million by 2030, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, increasing almost 2.5 times from 0.373 million in 2010 to 0.903 million by 2030.

The review said about 2.618 million people received this life-sustaining treatment worldwide in 2010.

However, it noted “at best, only half or less of all people needing RRT worldwide had access to it in 2010, meaning at least 2.284 million people might have died prematurely because they did not have access to the treatment in 2010″.

Most of this burden of preventable deaths fell on low income and middle income countries like India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Nigeria.

This data show a pressing need to develop low-cost RRT alternatives to reduce disparities in access to the treatment, and the importance of development, implementation, and assessment of cost-effective end-stage kidney disease prevention strategies.

“The sad reality is that most of these deaths are preventable and the biggest burden lies in low to middle income countries where there are instances of less than a quarter of patients receiving treatment for kidney failure,” said Vlado Perkovic of the George Institute and lead author of the study.

He said the way forward is to “radically overhaul” dialysis technology to lower costs.

“Dialysis has been around for half a century, yet the technology hasn’t evolved substantively, remaining hugely expensive despite its simplicity. Computers have shrunk from the size of buildings to that of a watch in this time; that’s the kind of radical overhaul needed,” added Perkovic.

As a result of this research, a worldwide competition is being launched to design the world’s first affordable dialysis machine, attracting a prize of $100,000.

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