MIRI: Preliminary research indicates that excessive consumption of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sugar is the reason why people in northern Sarawak have the highest incidence of kidney failure in the state.
This unhealthy eating trend among people in this region was found to be the leading probable cause of kidney damage among urban and rural folk examined by a team of researchers from the state health department and Curtin University of Technology Sarawak.
Prof Paola Ferroni, director of the Centre for International Health at Curtin University, Australia, said the team conducted a detailed study recently of the medical histories of a selected group of kidney patients.
“The initial results showed that most patients with kidney disease had high levels of MSG and sugar in their diet.
“However, we will carry out in-depth analysis to obtain more conclusive results,” she said after visiting the Miri Kidney Dialysis Centre on Tuesday.
The state health authorities had earlier this year found that renal failures were unusually common among the population in northern Sarawak.
Curtin Sarawak was assigned the task of conducting a thorough study of the phenomenon.
The university's team of researchers is working with medical experts from the state health department and Miri General Hospital in the study.
Team member Prof Rosemary Coates said the research would now focus on the nutritional habits of the people and identify ways to change them.
The study is expected to run until the middle of next year.
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