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Men more at risk for kidney failure

22 August 2012, 09:08

Men are at greater risk for kidney failure during their lifetime than women, according to a new Canadian study.

Researchers from the University of Calgary followed 2.9 million adults in Alberta, Canada from 1997 to 2008. When the study began, the participants did not have kidney failure. The investigators found that about one in 93 men and one in 133 women will develop kidney failure if they live to 80, the approximate current life expectancy in Canada.

If people live into their 90s, roughly one in 40 men and one in 60 women will develop kidney failure. Put another way, middle-aged men who live into their 90s have a nearly 2.7% lifetime risk for kidney failure, while women's lifetime risk is 1.8%, according to the study authors.

Risk for kidney failure was higher for people who had reduced kidney function. Men with reduced kidney function were at a 7.5% risk; women were at a 3.2% risk.

2 million affected worldwide

But for those with good kidney function, lifetime risk was lower – 1% for men and less than 1% for women, Dr Tanvir Chowdhury Turin and colleagues reported in the study released online in advance of print publication in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Kidney failure currently affects 2 million people worldwide, and is on the rise, according to background information in the report.

"Given the high morbidity and cost associated with kidney failure, we wanted to quantify the burden of disease for kidney failure in an easily understandable index to communicate information for patients, health practitioners and policy makers," Turin noted in a news release from the American Society of Nephrology.


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