This year, because World Kidney Day (WKD) and International Women’s Day both fall on Thursday, March 8, it can be a day for raising awareness of the challenges women around the world face in receiving affordable and equitable access to health education, healthcare, and prevention of kidney diseases.
There are a significant number of kidney-related diseases and other urological conditions that affect women as much as, if not more than, men.
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD): CKD is currently the 8th leading cause of death in women. It affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and results in nearly 600,000 deaths each year.1
- Kidney stones: Women have caught up to men in incidence of kidney stones,2 and certain demographics of women may even be more likely to develop stones than men.3
- Urinary tract infection (UTI): A UTI is a common urinary problem for women; experts estimate that one in five women will have at least one UTI in her lifetime, and nearly 20% of women who have a UTI will have another.4
- Urinary incontinence (UI): Up to 45% of women over the age of 30 may experience some form of stress incontinence—a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.5 Contributing factors to UI may include pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.6
- Sexual dysfunction: Women may seek advice for sexual dysfunction, which can be caused by urological problems.2
Those facts and figures make it clear that promoting kidney health and women’s health is more important than ever before. Many organisations and physicians are working to bring more attention to these issues. The increasing numbers of female urologists may also help women be more willing to seek treatment.
World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). To learn more, visit www.worldkidneyday.org/.
- Women and CKD. World Kidney Day Web site. http://www.worldkidneyday.org/2018-campaign/2018-wkd-theme. Accessed January 8, 2018.
- Freeling NA. Patients find comfort in women urologists. Urology Association of North Texas Web site. http://www.uant.com/news-patients-find-comfort-in-women-urologists.php. Accessed February 9, 2017.
- Dallas ME. Kidney stones on the rise among women. WebMD Web site. https://www.webmd.com/kidney-stones/news/20180213/kidney-stones-on-the-rise-among-women. Published February 13, 2018. Accessed February 14, 2018.
- Urinary tract infections. National Kidney Foundation Web site. https://www.kidney.org/sites/default/files/uti.pdf. Accessed February 14, 2018.
- Urinary incontinence in women. OnHealth Web site. https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/urinary_incontinence_women. Accessed February 14, 2018.
- Urinary incontinence in women. MedicineNet.com Web site. https://www.medicinenet.com/urinary_incontinence_in_women/article.htm. Accessed February 14, 2018.