HAVANA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD) among the Cuban population continue to climb every year, according to the Cuban Nephrology Society (SCN) on Thursday.
"We have seen an increase of patients with CKD in the primary health care service, in the number of dialysis patients and patients needing kidney transplants," said Dr. Jorge Francisco Perez-Oliva Diaz, president of the SCN.
The doctor said that the prevalence of patients needing kidney dialysis in 2002 was 120 persons per million inhabitants.
However, an average annual growth rate of 4 percent has pulled this number up to 295 persons per million inhabitants, according to the Cuban daily Granma.
"Demographic and epidemiological transformations in the 21st century have led to a huge increase in the prevalence of chronic noncommunicable diseases (CNCD), including the CKD," he said.
He added that diabetes and pulmonary arterial hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, are the leading causes of 70 percent to 80 percent of CKD cases.
Obesity, smoking, dyslipidemia and other cardiovascular diseases are other major causes, he said.
Cuba's aging population is also likely to contribute to the rise of the country's CKD rates, where more than 20 percent of the population is aged over 60.
According to U.S. health organization the National Kidney Foundation, between 8 percent and 10 percent of the global population have health problems connected to the CKD.