Doctors calling for more awareness of kidney disease

Cai Wenjun
Kidney disease has become one of the 10 top causes of death in the world, and there are about 150 million people with chronic kidney disease in China.
Cai Wenjun

Local medical experts are calling for more awareness of kidney disease, especially among young and middle-aged people.

Kidney disease has become one of the 10 top causes of death in the world, and there are about 150 million people with chronic kidney disease in China — and the number continues to climb — said medical experts on World Kidney Disease Day today.

IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger's disease, is the most common type of primary glomerulonephritis, affecting one-third of those around the world with chronic kidney disease and especially prevalent in China and Southeast Asia.

The average age of people with IgA nephropathy is 30, about one-third of whom will experience kidney failure within 10 to 20 years, requiring dialysis or kidney transplants.

“About one-third of those at my outpatient department suffer from IgA nephropathy, whose early detection, diagnosis and treatment are extremely important to control its deterioration,” said Dr Ni Zhaohui from Renji Hospital. “Kidney disease has no symptoms in the early stages, so it is called a silent killer. It is very important to receive regular checkups and go to a hospital if experiencing abnormal urine color or rising blood pressure for no apparent reason.”

According to experts, there is currently no cure for IgA nephropathy. However, promising medications are under development.

Shanghai-based Everest Medicines said that Nefecon, an innovative oral drug under global phase III trial, has been granted orphan drug designation for the treatment of IgA nephropathy by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. China’s National Medical Products Administration granted an Investigational New Drug application for it as a breakthrough therapy designation last December.

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