Kidney Disease Risk in Women: Pregnancy, Obesity, and UTI Major Causes

More than 85 crore people worldwide suffer from kidney disease, a number that has been rising with the increase in diabetes patients. While kidney diseases affect both genders, women are more susceptible, especially in cases of chronic kidney disease (CKD), where prevalence is 12% higher compared to men’s 10%.

Autoimmune Disorders and Kidney Damage in Women

The prevalence of kidney diseases is higher in women due to a variety of reasons, notably autoimmune disorders. These disorders compromise the body’s immune response, leading to the destruction of healthy cells, a process essential for fighting off infections and diseases.

Impact of Obesity and Pregnancy on Kidney Health

Women face an increased risk of kidney diseases, especially those who are obese or pregnant. In India, where 30%-40% of women are obese, the risk is significantly higher. Additionally, during pregnancy, women’s kidneys are more vulnerable to damage, especially due to infections post-delivery.

Gender Disparities in Kidney Disease

Though kidney diseases are more commonly observed in women, men tend to experience more severe cases. This is partly because women are often less vigilant about their health, tend to conceal illnesses, and may not prioritize healthcare due to financial constraints.

The Link Between Cardiovascular and Renal Syndromes

There’s an intricate relationship between kidney and heart diseases. Kidney issues can increase the risk of heart problems, and vice versa. As women are more prone to kidney diseases, they consequently face a heightened risk of cardiovascular complications, leading to the term “Cardiorenal Syndrome.”

Age and Kidney Diseases in Women

Women aged 60-70 years are particularly susceptible to kidney diseases. This demographic experiences a higher prevalence due to various factors, including physiological changes associated with aging.

Challenges in Dialysis Access for Women

20% of women affected by kidney disease face difficulties accessing dialysis. In India, approximately 9,000 kidney transplants occur annually. However, there remains a significant gap between the demand and availability of organ transplants, with thousands awaiting this life-saving procedure.

Mortality Rate among Dialysis Patients

In India, the number of patients undergoing dialysis is the highest in the world. In 2018, 175,000 patients were undergoing dialysis. According to a report by the George Institute for Global Health, 28% of dialysis patients die within 10 months.

When Hemodialysis Doesn’t Extend Life

According to the Lenset Regional Health Southeast Asia report, the survival rate of dialysis patients depends on many factors such as sex, smoking, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Due to not being self-reliant, very few women reach the dialysis center, so their survival rate is lower.

Whose Job is it When You Need Dialysis?

If women are not vigilant about their health, their families may not be either. In Nagpur, a 60-year-old woman is a patient of ‘renal panel’. When she was advised by the doctor that she needed temporary dialysis, her husband asked who would do the household chores if she had to undergo dialysis. If any woman in the family has kidney disease, family members are embarrassed to have dialysis done. Every fortnight, who will take the woman for dialysis, where the money will come from, all these issues arise.

Clinical Trials of Medicines are Done on Men, Women are Left Aside

Most of the clinical trials of medicines are conducted on men and women are fortunate enough to be included in them. Women are not included in this trial or not. Dr. Monali says that any medicine that has a pharmacodynamic name is tested on men. Therefore, it is not known what effect taking medicine will have on women. There are many medicines that have more adverse effects on women. This can damage the kidneys.

Anusha Aggarwal

My name is Anusha Aggarwal. With a deep fascination for the science behind health, hair care, skin care, and body care, I'm a dedicated writer committed to helping readers achieve optimal wellness. Through years of research and personal experience, I provide expert insights into the latest trends and techniques in the beauty and wellness.