More than 8 million persons die annually of smoking, says expert

March 11, 2021
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A medical practitioner, Dr. Nuhu Sule, on Thursday, cautioned youths against cigarette smoking to avoid kidney failure, saying more than eight million persons die from smoking annually, while more than 1.2 million non-smokers die out of second-hand smoke.

Sule, who made the call in an interview in Kaduna, as part of activities marking World Kidney Day, urged youths to embrace healthy lifestyles.

According to him, smoking reduces blood flow in the kidney, and it increases production of angiotensin II, a hormone produced by the kidney.

“Smoking also damages arterioles (branches of arteries), forms arteriosclerosis (thickening and hardening) of the renal arteries and accelerates loss of kidney function.

“In addition to reducing blood flow to the organs, tobacco smoking allows other toxins into the body.

It can cause kidney disease to progress and increase the risk for proteinuria, excessive amount of protein in the urine,” Sule said.

He urged youths to engage in healthy lifestyles and choices to help them prevent kidney diseases that might lead to failure.

“You can help reduce your risk of kidney failure by making healthy choices, such as avoiding drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

“Smoking can seriously harm the kidney in a number of ways. It can increase risk of developing kidney cancer, damage heart and blood vessels, leading to poor flow to the kidney and causing kidney damage over time.

“Smoking can affect the efficacy of medicines used to treat high blood pressure, hence uncontrolled or poorly controlled high blood pressure is a leading cause of kidney disease,” he said.

Sule recommended medical check-up once a year for everyone, even if they were not sick, stressing that screening helped detect diseases in early stages and early treatment.

He, however, explained that treatment of chronic kidney disease could help slow down the progression of kidney damage, through controlling the underlying causes.

He noted that World Kidney Day was set aside for an awareness campaign on the importance of the kidney and reducing the frequency and impact of its diseases and associated health challenges.

The Day is observed annually on the second Thursday of March.

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