By Xena Bunton, The Herald-Dispatch
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — According to 2020 data from America’s Health Rankings, 4.6% of West Virginians are affected by chronic kidney disease — not including kidney stones, bladder infection or incontinence — causing doctors and health officials to stress the importance of annual tests.
Caused by conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, also known as chronic renal disease, can lead to permanent damage to kidneys by reducing their ability to filter blood.
“As a doctor in West Virginia, I really do not feel well about those numbers,” said Dr. Zeid J. Khitan, chief of pathology at Marshall Health. “West Virginia as a state, or in the Appalachian area, (shows) a high prevalence of diabetes mellitus, high prevalence of hypertension, morbid obesity and the epidemic of drug abuse … this is the recipe for kidney disease.”
Khitan said the first step for prevention is to get tested once a year at a minimum to detect early kidney disease by a urine or blood test. Although any person of any age can be at risk, Khitan said people with diabetes, as well as those who are not physically active, abuse drugs or drink excessively, have a high sodium intake, or binge eat are more likely to be diagnosed…