New Delhi, March 10: Eating healthy and exercising regularly can check the risk of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure -- the key factors responsible for development of kidney disease, said an expert on the occasion of World Kidney Day on Thursday. "High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and regular intake of common anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can increase the risk of developing kidney diseases -- a serious condition in which the kidneys fail to rid the body of wastes. Kidney failure is the final stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD)," said Dr Sanjeev Gulati, director (nephrology) at Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital in New Delhi. Nearly 50 percent of people who suffer from high blood sugar levels are prone to the risk of kidney disease. In addition, people with a high blood pressure -- that is, upwards of 140/90 mmHg -- are also at high risk of developing kidney problems. "Further, the blood flow to the kidneys is impaired as a result of excessive smoking. Smoking reduces the normal functioning of kidneys and increases the risk of kidney cancer by 50 percent," Gulati told IANS. "Healthy lifestyles should be adopted early in life to keep kidney diseases at bay," he added. Healthy eating habits include limited intake of salt, reduced amount of processed food and increased consumption of home cooked meals and drinking adequate amount of water. "These can keep an individual's weight under control as well as prevent diabetes, heart diseases and other ailments that are associated with kidney disease," Gulati said. An exercise regimen suitable for optimum fitness levels should be maintained. However, overexerting oneself when one is not fit and healthy can put a strain on the kidneys, and sometimes even cause excessive breakdown of muscle tissue, the expert advised. Public awareness, especially among schools, teachers and parents, is essential to check the increasing problem of kidney diseases. "Moreover, annual check-ups are necessary for people above 40, and especially for those suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure," Gulati said.