A medical practitioner, Dr Nuhu Sule, on Thursday, cautioned youths against cigarette smoking impeding blood supply to human organs, to avoid kidney failure.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 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 with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna, as part of activities marking World Kidney Day, urged youths to embrace healthy lifestyles.
“Smoking reduces blood flow in the kidney; it increases production of angiotensin II, a hormone produced by the kidney, and also narrows the blood vessels in 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.
“According to American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), studies have shown that smoking is harmful for the kidneys and 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.
According to the medical practitioner, World Kidney Day is a global health awareness campaign, stressing the importance of kidney and reducing the frequency and impact of its diseases and associated health challenges.
NAN reports that the Day, which is a joint initiative of International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF), is observed annually on second Thursday of March. (NAN)