One in 10 Cypriots or 80,000 people will develop kidney disease in the next few years according to the results of a Pancyprian nephrology study that has been underway for the last few decades.
It also emerged that a significant part of the general population suffers from some kind of hereditary kidney disease, while 10% of adults have some form of kidney failure, either hereditary or otherwise.
Director of the Molecular Medicine Research Centre at the University of Cyprus Professor Constantinos Deltas said that there is a specific kind of hereditary kidney disease (C3) which exists only in Cyprus and is responsible for more than 150 incidents in 23 families.
As he explained, the genetic condition started from the villages of Marathassa approximately 400 years ago and appears as haematuria during childhood which results in 40% of adult men needing dialysis by the age of 70.
The results were presented at a press conference attended by Health Minister Petros Petrides, chairman of the Cyprus Nephrology Society and head of the nephrology clinic at Nicosia General Hospital Dr Michalis Zavros, former head of the nephrology clinic at NGH nephrologist Dr Alkis Pierides and Deltas.
The health minister said that the achievements of the research in Cyprus have a global reach and assured scientists that they will have the support of the Health Ministry throughout their work.
“This research is proof of the successful collaboration between the Molecular Medicine Research Centre at the University of Cyprus with nephrological departments in state hospitals but also with private doctors,” Petrides said.
The aim of the Molecular Medicine Research Centre at the University of Cyprus which was created in 2010 was during the first four years to record hereditary kidney disease at the biobank, in order to conduct ongoing research in the area of kidney diseases, to improve timely diagnosis, treat each patient on an individual basis and train staff.
Deltas said that his team has been researching kidney diseases for the past 22 years with global presentation and publications in various scientific journals, while the centre at UCY is a reference centre not just for Cyprus but also Greece.
According to Deltas, early diagnosis can save a lot of kidneys and reduce the pressing need for kidney donations across time.
Meanwhile, Zavros said that it is troubling for chronic kidney disease to take on the form of an epidemic, as 17% of the population are at risk but of those 70% do not have any symptoms.
He too confirmed that early diagnosis alongside regulating sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as avoiding anti-inflammatory, nonsteroidal medication are important factors in preventing and treating kidney disease.
Pierides announced that a scientific and educational conference on immuno-nephrology and hereditary kidney disease will be held for the first time in Cyprus on March 28 and 29, with the participation of 14 accomplished scientists from abroad.