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Kidney disease on the rise

By RICHARDSON DHALAI Monday, June 2 2014

click on pic to zoom in
TT Medical Association (TTMA) president Dr Liane Conyette, right, speaks to two persons at a health fair on Saturday in Princes Town. ...
TT Medical Association (TTMA) president Dr Liane Conyette, right, speaks to two persons at a health fair on Saturday in Princes Town. ...

TT Medical Association (TTMA) president Dr Liane Conyette has sounded a warning that chronic kidney disease (CKD) — the 20th cause of deaths nationally — is on the rise due to the increase in both diabetes and hypertension.

She gave the warning while addressing a health fair jointly organised by the Princes Town Open Bible Church and the Lions Club of Chaguanas, together with the National Association of Crohns and Colitis of TT (NACCTT) at the church’s Lothians Road car park on Saturday.

Among the health care service providers at the health fair were the mobile unit of the Cancer Society,, the Diabetes Association of TT, the Ministry of Health’s “Fight the Fat Campaign”, St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital representatives, nurses from the Princes Town District Health facility, representatives of the Ministry of Labour’s “Fair Share” unit and persons from the Ministry of the People.

Conyette who is based in the South West Regional Authority (SWRHA) said during a power point presentation that kidney disease is linked to the top five causes of death in Trinidad and Tobago which included diabetes, hypertension and stroke.

Giving what she said were “frightening” statistics, Conyette said 40 percent of Type I diabetes patients will have chronic kidney disease while 50 percent of Type II diabetes patients will have a lifetime risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

“Increasing numbers of Trinbagonians are coming down with chronic kidney diseases. Hypertension and Diabetes also cause chronic kidney disease,” Conyette said, adding that high risk groups include patients with diabetes, hypertension and persons with a family history of CKDs.

She said that approximately 143,000 persons or 11 percent of the population are living with diabetes in Trinidad and Tobago while, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) 2011 data, deaths from hypertension or high blood pressure accounted for 4.67 percent of all deaths in TT.

Conyette said the cost for patients with chronic kidney disease and who had to undergo dialysis was estimated at $150,000 per patient and noted there were approximately 750 patients throughout the country who require dialysis.

She advised participants at the health fair to exercise regularly, eat healthier, which includes more fruits and vegetables in their meals, avoid sugary drinks and have regular medical check-ups.

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