Seventy-eight percent of Taiwanese drink less than 1,800ml of water per day and 40 percent drink less than 1,200ml, which could increase the risk of kidney damage, a survey released yesterday by the Taiwan Society of Nephrology showed.
About 320,000 people in Taiwan have chronic kidney disease and about 83,000 people are on dialysis, said Hsu Chih-cheng (許志成), a researcher at the National Health Research Institutes, which conducted the online survey.
The survey aimed to gauge the public’s knowledge about kidney functions and awareness of kidney diseases, as well as daily habits that are associated with kidney health, he said.
The poll suggests that many people do not drink enough water on a daily basis, Hsu said.
About 70 percent of respondents had drunk at least one cup of a sweetened beverage in the previous week, he said.
Of respondents who had drunk at least five cups of sweetened beverages in the previous week, about 60 percent said the drinks were their main source of fluid and 49 percent said they do not exercise at least three times a week, putting them at high risk of developing chronic kidney disease, Hsu said.
About 60 percent of respondents did not know where the kidneys are in the body, about 40 percent did not know their function, and about 18 percent did not know that long-term use of painkillers could damage the kidneys, Hsu said.
A kidney disease report last year showed that the majority of people under 40 and on dialysis have diabetes, and that high intake of sweetened beverages, salty foods and insufficient water consumption or exercise could overburden the kidneys.
Chronic hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and metabolic syndrome could also harm the kidneys, Taiwan Society of Nephrology president Lu Kuo-cheng (盧國城) said.
The survey was conducted last month and collected 1,515 valid questionnaires.
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