Recent trends in the prevalence of chronic kidney disease: not the same old song

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Abstract

Purpose of review

We aim to review recent updates on the epidemiology of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Recent findings

Recent analyses from the National Health and Nutritional Examination survey describe the temporal trend in CKD prevalence in US adults. The overall prevalence of estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 increased from 4.8% in 1988–1994 to 6.9% in 2003–2004, but has since stabilized at 6.4–6.9% up to 2011–2012. Prevalence of CKD stages 1–4 has also stabilized at ∼14% of adults since 2003–2004. The prevalence of diabetic kidney disease – defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 and/or microalbuminuria among adults with diabetes – has similarly plateaued since the early to mid-2000s at ∼26–27%. There is continued rise in CKD and diabetic kidney disease prevalence among blacks and Mexican-Americans, however, in the last decade. Worldwide, a similar pattern of stable prevalence of CKD since the early 2000s is seen in England, Norway, and Korea. Despite these optimistic findings, there are several emerging at-risk populations. Rapid increases in diabetes and hypertension in China may signal an impending growth in CKD. In parts of Central America, there is emergence of very high CKD prevalence among agricultural workers – suspected to be due to occupational and environmental exposures.

Summary

Collective efforts to undermine risk factors, such as better control of hypertension and diabetes, have likely helped to abate the growth in CKD in several developed countries within the last decade. More worldwide high-quality and geographically granular data collection on CKD would help to monitor the epidemiology of CKD and potentially assist in identifying impactful interventions.

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