Kidney failure big new killer on the horizon

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Kidney failure has emerged as a new killer on the horizon in Australia, resulting in more deaths than cardiovascular disease.

Data from 2007 released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show kidney and urinary tract diseases have jumped to 10th on the leading cause of death list with 3,230 deaths being attributed as the single underlying cause. “Most of this increase appears to be due to an increase in chronic kidney failure deaths that have risen 148 percent in the last decade with a striking 133 percent rise over the last three years,” said Tim Mathew, medical director of Kidney Health Australia (KHA). This is at a time when cardiovascular deaths have decreased 125 percent in the last decade.

The rise in mortality has occurred in both sexes with female deaths accounting for 55 percent of all deaths from diseases of the kidney and urinary tract. An age breakdown of these deaths is not yet available, said a KHA release.

\“Explanations for this significant increase in deaths from kidney failure include the ageing population (kidney failure increases with age), an increased awareness of kidney diseases due to better diagnosis and reporting practices and a real increase possibly related to the fall in cardiovascular mortality,” said Mathew.

Scientists switch off nerves to treat high blood pressure: Medical scientists have pioneered a breakthrough that dramatically deflates high blood pressure, based on a new catheter-based treatment for the life-threatening condition.

The results of this highly anticipated study are expected to revolutionize treatment options for high blood pressure (BP) around the world. High BP is a major health burden globally, causing many debilitating health problems and even sudden death. Around 30-40 percent of the populace is estimated to suffer from high BP out of which about 15 percent are resistant to traditional therapies.

The trial involved inserting a catheter through the femoral artery (in the thigh) of 50 patients suffering from severe and resistant hypertension – a dangerous form of high BP not responsive to traditional medications.

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