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Kidney Failure Linked to Diabetes, Obesity and Sedentary Lifestyle

The number of kidney failure patients also diagnosed with diabetes increased by 114% between 1995 and 2004, according to a study by the Canadian Institute of Health Information.

“Diabetes is the fastest growing cause of end-stage renal disease,” said Margaret Keresteci, CIHI's Manager of Clinical Registries. “In fact, diabetes is now a factor in more than 40% of all registered [kidney failure] patients, up from 25% 10 years ago. It’s important to note that the type of diabetes driving the increase is linked to obesity and lifestyle factors.”

Keresteci was referring to kidney failure patients with type 2 diabetes, whose number tripled over the course of the study. Among these patients, 64 percent were classied as having an unhealthy weight, with 30 percent being obese. Type 2 diabetes is often preventable, as poor diet, obesity and sedentary lifestyle are major risk factors.

"Because Type 2 diabetes develops more slowly over time and it, for lack of a better word, creeps up on people, there are also a large number of people who don't realize that they have the disease and the damage is being done," said Keresteci.

Type 2 diabetes fueling the increase of kidney failure, also known as end stage renal disease (ESRD), is especially troubling as ESRD patients will die without kidney dialysis or transplantation. Dialysis can cost up to $70,000 per year, and require 9 hours of the patient's time each day.

Keresteci summed up:
"Kidney failure in patients with Type 2 diabetes -- which is preventable -- has almost tripled in the last 10 years. We know it's not an inevitability that the disease will develop. When we look at obesity and sedentary lifestyles -- there's a strong message there for me as an individual."
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