Scientific Editorials

Every year, a scientific editorial is written for the occasion of World Kidney Day.

The papers are researches on  scientifically relevant topics that links to the campaign as a scientific basis for the annual theme.

Each editorial is written by nephrologists working for the campaign on a voluntary basis and is usually published in more than 50 scientific journals.

Here you can find the complete list of the WKD scientific editorial from 2006 to 2020 and the downloadable PDFs.

2020 – Kidney health for everyone everywhere—from prevention to detection and equitable access to care

Philip Kam-Tao Li, Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh

The global burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is rapidly increasing with a projection of becoming the 5th most common cause of years of life lost globally by 2040. Aggravatingly, CKD is a major cause of catastrophic health expenditure. The costs of dialysis and transplantation consume up to 3% of the annual healthcare budget in high-income countries. Crucially, however, the onset and progression of CKD is often preventable. In 2020, the World Kidney Day campaign highlights the importance of preventive interventions – be it primary, secondary or tertiary. This complementing article focuses on outlining and analyzing measures that can be implemented in every country to promote and advance CKD prevention. Primary prevention of kidney disease should focus on the modification of risk factors and addressing structural abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tracts, as well as exposure to environmental risk factors and nephrotoxins. In persons with pre-existing kidney disease, secondary prevention, including blood pressure optimization and glycemic control, should be the main goal of education and clinical interventions. In patients with advanced CKD, management of co-morbidities such as uremia and cardiovascular disease is a highly recommended preventative intervention to avoid or delay dialysis or kidney transplantation. Political efforts are needed to proliferate the preventive approach. While national policies and strategies for non-communicable diseases might be present in a country, specific policies directed toward education and awareness about CKD screening, management and treatment are often lacking. Hence, there is an urgent need to increase the awareness of the importance of preventive measures throughout populations, professionals and policy makers.

WKD2020-Scientific Editorial 

2019 – Burden, Access and Disparities in Kidney Disease.

Deidra C. Crews, Aminu K. Bello, and Gamal Saadi

Kidney disease is a global public health problem, affecting over 750 million persons worldwide. The burden of kidney disease varies substantially across the world, as does its detection and treatment. In many settings, rates of kidney disease and the provision of its care are defined by socio-economic, cultural, and political factors leading to significant disparities. World Kidney Day 2019 offers an opportunity to raise awareness of kidney disease and highlight disparities in its burden and current state of global capacity for prevention and management. Here, we highlight that many countries still lack access to basic diagnostics, a trained nephrology workforce, universal access to primary health care, and renal replacement therapies. We point to the need for strengthening basic infrastructure for kidney care services for early detection and management of acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease across all countries and advocate for more pragmatic approaches to providing renal replacement therapies. Achieving universal health coverage worldwide by 2030 is one of the World Health Organization’s Sustainable Development Goals. While universal health coverage may not include all elements of kidney care in all countries, understanding what is feasible and important for a country or region with a focus on reducing the burden and consequences of kidney disease would be an important step towards achieving kidney health equity.

WKD2019-Scientific Editorial 

2018 – What we do and do not know about women and kidney diseases; Questions unanswered and answers unquestioned: Reflection on World Kidney Day and International Women’s Day.

Giorgina B Piccoli, Mona Alrukhaimi, Zhi-Hong Liu, Elena Zakharova, and Adeera Levin

Chronic Kidney Disease affects approximately 10% of the world’s adult population: it is within the top 20 causes of death worldwide, and its impact on patients and their families can be devastating. World Kidney Day and International Women’s Day in 2018 coincide, thus offering an opportunity to reflect on the importance of women’s health and specifically their kidney health, on the community, and the next generations, as well as to strive to be more curious about the unique aspects of kidney disease in women so that we may apply those learnings more broadly.
Girls and women, who make up approximately 50% of the world’s population, are important contributors to society and their families. Gender differences continue to exist around the world in access to education, medical care, and participation in clinical studies. Pregnancy is a unique state for women, offering an opportunity for diagnosis of kidney disease, but also a state where acute and chronic kidney diseases may manifest, and which may impact future generations with respect to kidney health. There are various autoimmune and other conditions that are more likely to impact women with profound consequences for child bearing, and on the fetus. Women have different complications on dialysis than men, and are more likely to be donors than recipients of kidney transplants.
In this editorial, we focus on what we do and do not know about women, kidney health, and kidney disease, and what we might learn in the future to improve outcomes worldwide.

WKD2018-Scientific Editorial 

2017 – Obesity and kidney disease: hidden consequences of the epidemic

Csaba P. Kovesdy, Susan Furth and Carmine Zoccali 

Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic, and its prevalence has been projected to grow by 40% in the next decade. This increasing prevalence has implications for the risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and also for Chronic Kidney Disease. A high body mass index is one of the strongest risk factors for new-onset Chronic Kidney Disease. In individuals affected by obesity, a series of complex pathophysiologic changes occur that lead to the development of Chronic Kidney Disease. These include on the one hand effects mediated by the downstream consequences of obesity (such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension), but also direct effects of adipose tissue, via humoral factors such as leptin, adiponectin, resistin and visfatin). In obese individuals a compensatory hyperfiltration occurs to meet the heightened metabolic demands of the increased body weight, leading to glomerulomegaly and accompanied by deposition of adipose tissue in the glomerulus and the gradual development of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. The incidence of obesity-related glomerulopathy has increased ten-fold in recent years. In addition to the development of Chronic Kidney Disease, obesity has also been shown to be a risk factor for nephrolithiasis, and for a number of malignancies including kidney cancer. Interventions to stem the tide of obesity are thus extremely important for preventing the development and progression of Chronic Kidney Disease and other disorders of the kidneys. This year the World Kidney Day promotes education on the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney disease, advocating healthy lifestyle and health policy measures that makes preventive behaviors an affordable option.

WKD Editorial 2017

2016 – Averting the legacy of kidney disease – focus on childhood

Julie R. Ingelfinger, Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh and Franz Schaefer

World Kidney Day 2016 focuses on kidney disease in childhood and the antecedents of adult kidney disease that can begin in earliest childhood. Chronic kidney disease in childhood differs from that in adults, as the largest diagnostic group among children includes congenital anomalies and inherited disorders, with glomerulopathies and kidney disease in the setting of diabetes being relatively uncommon. In addition, many children with acute kidney injury will ultimately develop sequelae that may lead to hypertension and chronic kidney disease in later childhood or in adult life. Children born early or who are small-for-date newborns have a relatively increased risk for the development of chronic kidney disease later in life. Persons with a high-risk birth and early childhood history should be watched closely in order to help detect early signs of kidney disease in time to provide effective prevention or treatment. Successful therapy is feasible for advanced chronic kidney disease in childhood; there is evidence that children fare better than adults if they receive kidney replacement therapy including dialysis and transplant, whereas only a minority of children may require this ultimate intervention. Because there are disparities in access to care, effort is needed so that those children with kidney disease, wherever they live, may be treated effectively, irrespective of their geographic or economic circumstances. Our hope is that World Kidney Day will inform the general public, policy makers, and caregivers about the needs and possibilities surrounding kidney disease in childhood.

WKD Editorial 2016

2015 – CKD in disadvantaged populations

Guillermo Garcia-GarciaVivekanand Jha and on behalf of the World Kidney Day Steering Committee
Of all of the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumaneDr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

WKD Editorial 2015

2014 – Chronic kidney disease and the aging population

Marcello Tonelli and Miguel C. Riella

“Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing: age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing.” George Bernard Shaw

WKD Editorial 2014

2013 – Acute kidney injury: global health alert

Philip Kam Tao LiEmmanuel A. BurdmannRavindra L. Mehta and for the World Kidney Day Steering Committee 2013

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is increasingly prevalent in developing and developed countries and is associated with severe morbidity and mortality. Most etiologies of AKI can be prevented by interventions at the individual, community, regional, and in-hospital levels. Effective measures must include community-wide efforts to increase an awareness of the devastating effects of AKI and provide guidance on preventive strategies, as well as early recognition and management. Efforts should be focused on minimizing causes of AKI, increasing awareness of the importance of serial measurements of serum creatinine in high-risk patients, and documenting urine volume in acutely ill people to achieve early diagnosis; there is as yet no definitive role for alternative biomarkers. Protocols need to be developed to systematically manage prerenal conditions and specific infections. More accurate data about the true incidence and clinical impact of AKI will help to raise the importance of the disease in the community, increase awareness of AKI by governments, the public, general and family physicians, and other health-care professionals to help prevent the disease. Prevention is the key to avoid the heavy burden of mortality and morbidity associated with AKI.

 WKD Editorial 2013

2012 – The global role of kidney transplantation

Guillermo Garcia GarciaPaul N. HardenJeremy R. Chapman and For the World Kidney Day Steering Committee 2012

World Kidney Day on 8 March 2012 provides a chance to reflect on the success of kidney transplantation as a therapy for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) that surpasses dialysis treatments for the quality and quantity of life and for cost effectiveness. An experimental, risky, and very limited treatment option 50 years ago is now routine clinical practice in more than 80 countries.

WKD Editorial 2012

2011 – World Kidney Day 2011: Protect your kidneys, save your heart

William G. Couser and Miguel C. Riella

The sixth World Kidney Day, an annual event jointly sponsored by the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations, will be celebrated on 10 March 2011. Since its inception in 2006, World Kidney Day has grown dramatically to become the most widely celebrated event associated with kidney disease in the world and the most successful effort to raise awareness among both the general public and government health officials about the dangers of kidney disease, especially chronic kidney disease (CKD).

WKD Editorial 2011

2010 – Diabetic kidney disease: act now or pay later

Robert C. Atkins and Paul Zimmet

In 2003, the International Society of Nephrology and the International Diabetes Federation launched a booklet called Diabetes and Kidney Disease: Time to Act-to highlight the global pandemic of type 2 diabetes and diabetic kidney disease. It aimed to alert governments, health organizations, providers, doctors, and patients to the increasing health and socioeconomic problems due to diabetic kidney disease and its sequelae, end-stage kidney disease requiring dialysis and cardiovascular death. Seven years later, the same message has become even more urgent. World Kidney Day 2010, under the auspices of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF), together with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), provides yet another chance to underline the importance of diabetic kidney disease, stress its lack of awareness at both public and governmental levels, and emphasize that its management involves prevention, recognition, and treatment of its complications. Primary prevention of type 2 diabetes will require massive lifestyle changes in the developing and developed world supported by strong governmental commitment to promote lifestyle and societal change.

WKD editorial_2010

2009 – The message for World Kidney Day 2009: hypertension and kidney disease: a marriage that should be prevented

George L. Bakris and Eberhard Ritz on behalf of the World Kidney Day 2009 Steering Committee 

The kidney is both a cause and a victim of hypertension. High blood pressure is a key pathogenetic factor that contributes to deterioration of kidney function. The presence of kidney disease is a common and underappreciated preexisting medical cause of resistant hypertension.1 Therefore, treatment of hypertension has become the most important intervention in the management of all forms of chronic kidney disease (CKD). For this reason, the forthcoming World Kidney Day (WKD) on 12 March 2009 will emphasize the role of hypertension in renal disease.

WKD editorial_2009

2008 – The third World Kidney Day: Looking back and thinking forward

Sudhir V. Shah and John Feehally 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead. March 13, 2008, heralds the third annual World Kidney Day, an event that will be celebrated in more than 60 countries. We take this opportunity to recount how this concept has gained worldwide traction and momentum and to reflect on the challenges faced by its creators and supporters.

WKD editorial_2008

2007 – A call to action on World Kidney Day, 8 March 2007

William G Couser MD President, International Society of Nephrology, Sudhir Shah MD President, International Federation of Kidney Foundations For the joint International Society of Nephrology/International Federation of Kidney Foundations World Kidney Day 2007 Steering Committee:, Joel Kopple MD IFKF Executive Member, Paul Beerkens IFKF President-Elect, Anne Wilson IFKF Secretary Treasurer, John Feehally MD ISN Secretary General, Thomas Reiser ISN Executive Director and Miguel Riella MD ISN Committee Chair

World Kidney Day, a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF), aims to spread the crucial message that kidney disease is common, harmful, and treatable.

WKD editorial_2007

2006 – World Kidney Day: An idea whose time has come

Allan J Collins MD, Committee Chair, IFKF, William G Couser MD President, ISN, John H Dirks MD ISN, Joel D Kopple MD IFKF, Thomas Reiser Executive Director, ISN, Miguel C Riella MD ISN, Sheila Robinson BA ISN, Sudhir V Shah MD President, IFKF and Anne Wilson IFKF

The world needs a kidney day to draw global attention to the increasing global pandemic of kidney and associated cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) jointly are proposing that a World Kidney Day be established on the second Thursday in March each year. It will be launched on Thursday, March 9, 2006, and fully inaugurated on Thursday, March 8, 2007. The aim is to broadcast the message about kidney disease to government health officials, general physicians, allied health professionals, individuals, and families.

WKD editorial_2006













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