There are around 60, 000 dialysis patients in Germany and 225, 000 in Europe - and the trend is rising! In 2002, the number of people entering dialysis with 14, 358 persons exceeded 20%. The reasons for this rapid increase are manifold. The incidence of kidney disease is growing rapidly. Reasons lie on the one hand in the demographic development (the average age of the population increases), on the other hand in the explosive increase of common diseases, which are in direct interaction with kidney diseases such. As diabetes or high blood pressure.
The increase in kidney disease leading to dialysis will inevitably become a public health problem and will also severely affect healthcare financially. Already, around 10 billion euros a year are spent in Europe alone for the treatment of kidney disease. Keywords such as "aging of society" are striking, but describe a fundamental problem of Western European countries.
The age pyramid is soon going head over, because of low birth rates and increasing life expectancy, the average age is increasing steadily in Germany. Renal dysfunction and renal impairment are also signs of aging. The increasing aging of society is therefore a reason for the rising rate of kidney disease.
Interactions between kidney disease and "common diseases"
People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing kidney failure. Diabetes mellitus, especially type 2 (formerly "adult onset diabetes") is a widespread disease that is rapidly increasing. According to the German Diabetes Society, there are almost six million diabetics in Germany - and they form a large "risk group" for kidney diseases. The proper adjustment of blood sugar, and more importantly blood pressure, are fundamental preventive measures to counter kidney disease as a result of diabetes.
A similar "risk group" is formed by high-pressure patients. It can be assumed that more than half of Germans suffer from hypertension, although mostly unrecognized. Like diabetics, sufferers are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease.
Lack of precautionary awareness
Another reason lies in the lack of prevention behavior: Regular preventive care is not used and, as kidney diseases are "dumb", patients often only present to the doctor if they have irreparably lost much of their kidney function. Also in the field of primary care, the preventive medical check-ups could be used even more broadly, for example when patients present themselves as part of the "annual check". Here, there is room for improvement, because early recognized kidney problems are curable or at least in their rapid course reside, and do not inevitably lead to dialysis.
In addition to the risk of renal insufficiency, kidney damage also poses other dangers, as they can cause serious illnesses. In turn, they trigger high blood pressure, can lead to heart disease such as heart attack and heart failure, anemia and bone disease. The Nephrology Society therefore advocates greater precautionary awareness and wishes to raise the awareness of the medical and non-medical public about the importance of early diagnosis of kidney disease.