Kidney || Portugal was the European country with the highest number of patients (2,473) undergoing dialysis treatments or first-time kidney transplants in 2014.
The reasons for the increase are unclear, but the “good news”, if it can be termed such, is that Portugal is “fully prepared” to treat patients with kidney problems.
President of the Portuguese Society of Transplants, Fernando Macário, told Lusa news agency: “Portugal had the highest rate of new dialysis patients in Europe and one of the highest in the whole world in 2014.”
Data shows that the number of dialysis patients had been dropping in 2011 and 2012, but has been on the rise since 2013.
There has also been an increase in the number of patients (24) who received kidney transplants without undergoing dialysis first.
“Kidney transplants depend on the availability of the organs, most of which come from people who have died,” Macário explained, adding that the average waiting period is “five years”.
However, a law approved in 2007 has since allowed anyone – not just family members – to donate a kidney to someone in need.
In Portugal, around 800,000 people are believed to suffer from chronic kidney disease. Specialists have pointed out that diabetes and high blood pressure are the main causes of kidney problems.