Kidneys and Women's Health

The theme for World Kidney Day this year is “Kidneys and Women’s Health:  Include, value, empower.”  This theme is fitting because World Kidney Day and International Women’s Day 2018 are both being celebrated on March 8, 2018.

Kidney failure is a significant health problem for women.  Kidney failure is the eighth leading cause of death for women worldwide, and chronic kidney disease (CKD) develops in roughly 14% of women.  Twelve percent of men develop CKD; it is more common in women.  Even though more women than men develop kidney failure, there are more men on dialysis than women, worldwide.  Also, women are more likely to donate a kidney to a loved one and are less likely to receive one. 

The most common causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure.  CKD may also be caused by conditions that occur more often in women:  lupus and kidney infections.  Lupus is an autoimmune disease; in autoimmune diseases, the person’s immune system makes a mistake and attacks the person’s organs.  Symptoms of Lupus may include a butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks, joint pain and swelling, and fever.  Over time, lupus may cause kidney failure.  25-year-old actress Selena Gomez received a donated kidney last year.  Ms. Gomez’s kidneys had failed because of her lupus.  A kidney infection may happen when bacteria move from the bladder into the kidneys.  A kidney infection can permanently damage your kidneys.  Symptoms of a kidney infection may include fever, pain in the flank or back and the need to pee much more often than usual.  To treat a kidney infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. 

A Yoga Fundraiser for the Kidney Foundation will take place on Saturday, March 3 in Brandon. To register for this event and to learn more about kidneys and the importance of keeping them healthy  call or email Lisa Edwardson, Westman Regional Coordinator, 204-717-0432 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Also, check out #kidneycoach,  #kidneyplay, and #kidneyhealth to see what Manitobans are doing to keep their kidneys healthy.  For more information visit:

1. Piccoli, G.B. et al. (2018). Women and kidney disease: reflections on World Kidney Day 2018: Kidney Health and Women’s Health: a case for optimizing outcomes for present and future generations. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 33(2). 189-193.
2. Cha, A.E. (2017, Sept 14).  Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant: Young minority women disproportionately affected by lupus.  The Washington Post.