Chronic kidney disease - epidemiology and infographics

8 September, 2023

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an important contributor to morbidity and mortality from noncommunicable diseases, and is a highly relevant topic in global health. However, only a minority of persons already having CKD know about it: the awareness about CKD was only 6% (out of 6631 individuals) in general populations and 10% (out of 1524 participants) in high-risk populations (Lancet Glob Health ).

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, CKD affected almost 700 million people worldwide and led to 3.2 million deaths in 2019, with 1.4 mln deaths directly caused by CKD, and 1.7 mln deaths occurred due to impaired kidney function as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Of note, the world’s most vulnerable regions suffer the most, and the highest CKD prevalence rates in 2019 were found in Central Latin America, Southeast Asia, North Africa and Middle East – and these regions also demonstrated the highest increase by more than 20% in age-standardized rates.

Feel free to use and share infographics on epidemiology of chronic kidney disease at the global, regional and country levels

CKD can be easily diagnosed by two simple and inexpensive tests: urianalysis and serum creatinine measurement with subsequent calculation of estimated glomerular filtration rate. However, these two simple tests are not performed in a substantial proportion of high-risk patients (those having diabetes, hypertension, etc). The lack of timely diagnostics leads to the absence of treatment and CKD progression - and that is a huge pitfall because at the early stages, CKD could be treated by affordable medicines like ACEI or ARB (majority of them are available as generics). In case if early stages remain untreated, CKD can progress to late stages with the development of end-stage kidney disease, which requires high-cost dialysis or kidney transplantation, and unfortunately is not universally accessible for many LMICs.

Despite this high burden, CKD is not included in health strategies in many countries.

We should raise awareness about CKD and call for action at the national, local and global levels.

Here are the links to LinkedIn posts with infographics, please share them with your professional network:

1. CKD prevalence at global level

2. CKD mortality at global level

3. CKD prevalence in 21 world's regions

4. CKD mortality in 21 world's regions

More details on CKD epidemiology are available in the Lancet paper

HIFA profile: Boris Bikbov is a Senior Researcher at Scientific-Tools.Org, Italy. Professional interests: Public health; Non-comunicable diseases; Kidney disease, chronic and acute; Diabetes; Cardiovascular diseases; Data management; Statistical analysis. boris.bikbov AT