The Hidden Epidemic of 850 million people

There is a hidden epidemic fee people are aware of: Chronic Kidney Disease is a global public health problem. The International Society of Nephrology, the American Society of Nephrology and the European Renal Association-European Dialysis Transplantation Association have reissued a poster they released last year (see above). There is an excellent article on the topic at Kidney International. Please read it here or read the first few paragraphs below. There is also a webstream on CKD as a Public Health Problem. Details at the bottom of the post.

On a world scale the total number of individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD), acute kidney injury (AKI), and those on renal replacement therapy (RRT) exceeds 850 million, a truly concerning figure that is twice the estimated number of people with diabetes worldwide and >20 times higher than the number of individuals affected by AIDS/HIV worldwide. Thus kidney diseases are one of the most common diseases worldwide.

CKD is now an unquestionable global public priority. Even though the prevalence of CKD and its impact on health has been mainly studied in economically developed countries, the burden of this disease is even greater in developing countries. In 2016, this disease was 13th on the list of causes of death on a world scale, and in 2040, it is expected to be the 5th leading cause of years of life lost. In 2010, 2.6 million individuals were receiving some form of kidney replacement therapy worldwide, but an almost equal number might have died during the same year because of a lack of access to dialysis and transplantation. This scenario contrasts with that of other major chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases, whose effects on mortality are declining.

In spite of this recent recognition of the adverse impact of CKD on health outcomes, awareness of the magnitude and the risks of this condition remain low at the population level. As a result, kidney disease has been largely overlooked by health authorities and governments in most countries. Even in the USA, a 2016 survey showed that CKD awareness in the community is substantially lower as compared with that of other chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

Live Webstream: Chronic Kidney Diseases as Public Health Problem

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020

22.00-23.30 MUT 18:00–19:30 UTC

Webstream registration link.

This virtual meeting aims to increase Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) awareness both in primary and secondary care, to learn more about the impact of CKD on global health, the barriers to early diagnosis, and the role of cross-functional collaboration in providing an optimal CKD management. This meeting includes educational content from KDIGO, and is organised and funded by AstraZeneca.


David Wheeler University College London United Kingdom


Tami Sadusky CKD Patient United States

Peter Rossing Steno Diabetes Center Denmark

Naresh Kanumilli Northenden Group Practice United Kingdom

José Luis Górriz University Clinical Hospital of Valencia Spain

David Cherney The University of Toronto Canada

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