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70% of Hongkongers at risk of chronic kidney disease refuse treatment: doctors

Hong KongHealth & Environment

Hongkongers ignoring warning signs for ‘silent killer’ chronic kidney disease, doctors say, after 70% of at-risk residents refuse treatment

Hong Kong Doctors Union finds half of residents with pre-existing conditions test positive for common sign of chronic kidney disease, but most refuse further helpKidney diseases were also the seventh most common cause of death in the city last yearHong Kong healthcare and hospitalsSammy HeungPublished: 9:24pm, 7 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Hongkongers could be exposing themselves to a higher risk of chronic kidney disease by ignoring the warning signs, as nearly 70 per cent refused any treatment after tests flagged unusual protein levels in their urine, a doctors’ union said on Thursday.

The Hong Kong Doctors Union also urged the government to include screenings for kidney disease in a pilot healthcare programme that already subsidised checks for hypertension and diabetes.

Union consultant and nephrology specialist Dr Ho Chung-ping described chronic kidney disease as a “silent killer” and said it could take 6½ to seven years on average before a patient’s condition worsened from stage three to four, out of a total of five.

“There could be no symptoms at the early stages of the disease, but we can find high levels of protein in their urine, which means your kidney functions begin to deteriorate,” he said.

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Ho also cited studies showing it could take an average of 10 years for a patient’s condition to worsen to the point that they required dialysis, a treatment that helps remove waste and excess fluid from the bloodstream.

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