Thursday, March 28, 2024

One Filipino per Hour Develops Chronic Renal Failure

Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines[1]. According to the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI), one Filipino develops chronic renal failure every hour[2], that is estimated to be at least 2.3 million Filipinos currently diagnosed with CKD.[3]  Meanwhile, other recent projections show that 1 in 10 Filipinos will develop this deadly disease.[4]


CKD is a condition where the kidney’s functions have gradually decreased over a period of time, and it can no longer filter blood as properly as before. As a result, excess waste and fluid remains in the body and causes other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.[5]


“The problem with this is that it has no early signs. Symptoms will only show when your kidneys have deteriorated already,[6]” shares Dr. Greta Cortez, Head of Medicine, Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc. “Fortunately, there are a number of ways we can keep our kidneys healthy and prevent CKD such as early screening, lifestyle checks, and understanding your family’s medical history.”


There is a simple 2-step screening process to check kidney health. First is the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eFGR),  a blood test that measures the waste called creatinine in your blood; Second is the urine albumin-creatinine ratio (uACR) test that uses a urine sample to measure albumin, or protein level present in your urine.[7]


The two primary conditions that often lead to CKD are Diabetes and Hypertension. Lifestyle factors such as age, smoking, family history of CKD, and obesity also put individuals at risk of CKD.[8] Unhealthy lifestyles are also considered because they might cause you to eat foods high in sugar and sodium, be exposed to constant stress, or keep you from moving your body.


Keeping our kidneys healthy means keeping our whole body healthy.


It is highly recommended to make sure you’re getting enough exercise every day even if it’s just walking. Eat foods less in sugar and salt and eat more fruits and vegetables. Remember to incorporate healthy stress management habits into your lifestyle such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep to prevent high blood pressure or diabetes. If you start incorporating these healthy habits in your daily life, CKD can be the least of your worries.


 “Cultivating a healthy lifestyle within your community is key to maintaining them. We can hold each other accountable,” shares Reynaldo Abacan Jr., Founder and President of Dialysis PH, a support organization for renal failure patients and their families. “We encourage everyone to check their kidney health as chronic kidney disease is a lifelong condition that affects the quality of life, not just of the patient but of their loved ones as well.” 


But remember, getting your kidneys checked is the most straightforward way to find out if your kidneys are healthy. Reach out to your doctor as soon as possible and make sure your loved ones do too.


[1] Department of Health. Chronic Kidney Disease Prevention and Control. Accessed Jan 5, 2024.

[2] KIDNEY HEALTH PLUS. National Kidney Transplant Institute . (n.d.).

[3] Philippine News Agency. 2022. Davao City ranks 3rd in PH with most kidney diseases. Accessed Jan 5, 2024.

[4] The Lancet. Global, regional, and national burden of chronic kidney disease, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Accessed Mar 14, 2024

[5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Kidney Disease Basics.,More%20than%201%20in%207. Accessed Mar 7, 2024.

[6] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Kidney Disease Basics.,More%20than%201%20in%207. Accessed Mar 7, 2024.

[7] National Health Service. Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis. Accessed Mar 7, 2024

Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that transform lives, today and for generations to come. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term, sustainable perspective. More than 53,000 employees serve over 130 markets in the two business units Human Pharma and Animal Health. Learn more at


[8] National Health Service. Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis. Accessed Mar 7, 2024

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