- Chronic kidney disease affects around 10% of the world's population
- Active lifestyle choices in the form of healthy diet with low salt and high potassium, exercise, not smoking or drinking can help maintain kidney health
- Adherence to the active lifestyle recommendations can reduce the risk of kidney diseases by 14% to 22%
Modifiable lifestyle interventions that target conditions like diabetes, and hypertension that lead to kidney damage eventually, can help reduce the burden of chronic kidney disease.
Around 10% of the global population suffers from some kind of chronic kidney condition. According to the 2017 statistics, more than 1.2 million people were estimated to have died as a direct result of kidney disease, and another 1.4 million due to cardiovascular complications caused by reduced kidney function.
There is a lack of information on what lifestyle changes are needed to prevent kidney diseases, despite these alarming statistics.
The new study was conducted at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Griffith University in Australia, reports. The study is published in The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of more than 100 published research papers were done to understand the influence of lifestyle changes on kidney disease.
For the study, more than 2.5 million healthy people from 16 countries participated. The effects of diet, exercise, tobacco smoking, and alcohol were assessed for the risk of developing kidney problems.
"We discovered that lifestyle played a big role and identified a number of recommendations that can be conveyed to healthy people wanting to reduce their risk of developing chronic kidney disease," says Dr Jaimon Kelly, a postdoctoral research fellow at Griffith University.
"In the absence of randomized intervention studies in the field, this study is the best evidence we have to date on what lifestyle choices can help for primary prevention of kidney disease," says Juan Jesus Carrero, professor of epidemiology at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet. "The results can be used in the development of public health recommendations and in discussions with patients on how to lower their risk of kidney disease."
In summary, healthy lifestyle recommendations such as eating a vegetable-rich diet with high potassium and low salt, quitting smoking and alcohol consumption, and engaging in more exercise are applicable for people with kidney problems and healthy people who are at risk of developing kidney problems.
Adhering to these recommendations can reduce the risk of developing chronic kidney disease by between 14% to 22%.