Dr Williams Ifechukwu, a Consultant with a private hospital in Abuja, has attributed old age as a major cause of renal artery stenosis.
Ifechukwu, in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, explained renal artery stenosis as a narrowing of arteries that carry blood to one or both of the kidneys.
He said that renal artery stenosis could lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) and kidney damage if it worsens.
“The body senses less blood reaching the kidneys and misinterprets that as the body having low blood pressure, this signals the release of hormones from the kidney that lead to an increase in blood pressure.
“More than 90 per cent of the time, renal artery stenosis is caused by atherosclerosis, a process in which plaque made up of fats, cholesterol and other materials builds up on the walls of the blood vessels, including those leading to the kidneys.
“More rarely, renal artery stenosis can be caused by a condition called fibromuscular dyplasia, in which the cells in the walls of the arteries undergo abnormal growth,” he said.
According to Ifechukwu, renal artery stenosis is often found by accident in patients who are undergoing tests for another reason.
He listed some of the risk factors of renal artery stenosis as older age, being female, having hypertension and other vascular diseases.
The expert said that renal artery stenosis usually does not cause any specific symptoms; sometimes the first sign is high blood pressure that is extremely hard to control.
Ifechukwu therefore advised persons diagnosed with renal artery stenosis to discuss the risks of the different treatments with doctor.