March 11 is World Kidney Day. As many as 70 percent of sick newborn babies suffer from kidney dysfunction but less than five percent of them get treated, a new study says.

As many as 70 percent of sick newborn babies suffer from kidney dysfunction but less than five percent of them get treated, a new study says.

The study, conducted by Batra Hospital over a period of 15 years on 300 sick newborn babies, found that five percent of them have acute kidney function derangement.

“Kidneys are the cornerstone of the body and help it to maintain its metabolic balance, body fluids, salts and blood pressure. Many of the renal problems leading to chronic kidney disease in later life begin in the paediatric age group,” Sanjeev Bagai, a nephrologist and chief executive officer of Batra Hospital, who led the study, told IANS Thursday.

March 11 is observed as World Kidney Day.

The study found that urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common cause of chronic kidney damage among children and adults.

“Almost 6.5 percent of girls and 3.3 percent of boys below the age of one suffer from urinary tract infection. Renal stone disease in children is also not uncommon with children below the age of five suffering the most,” the study found.

According to Mr. Bagai, kidney damage can occur due to various reasons, which include problems within the urinary system and other factors like infections, hypertension, cancer, multi-organ failure.

“Kidney function is the vital cornerstone towards maintenance of life. More often than not, the problem occurs at a sub-clinical level with no external manifestations or any changes in the blood profile, until it is too late,” said Ramesh Kumar, senior consultant nephrologist with Batra Hospital.

According to doctors, early diagnosis, anticipation and prompt treatment is the key to prevent end-stage kidney failure.

The study suggested making urinary infection tests compulsory in schools as it can help in checking renal diseases.

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