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More Evidence Supports Making the Change for Kidney Health

By Navdeep Tangri, MD, PhD, FRCP

The evidence is in, and it points in one direction.  Policymakers need to join the effort to make meaningful change for kidney health.

A new analysis of data from the Impact CKD Study, released this week at the World Congress of Nephrology, concludes that delays in diagnosing and treating chronic kidney disease – or CKD – are leading to adverse health, financial and environmental consequences, all of which are avoidable.

The key findings are as follows:

1. Chronic kidney disease rates are rising globally

  • Between 11.7% and 16.5% of the population in the studied countries is expected to have CKD by 2032.
  • Advanced-stage CKD will have risen by more than 30% in Australia, China, the Netherlands and Spain by 2032.
  • Dialysis requirements will increase by more than 75% across all eight countries studied.

2. Left unaddressed, the burden of CKD on health care systems will be tremendous.

  • Health care systems can expect an over 77% increase in kidney replacement therapy costs in all eight countries.
  • Health care systems can anticipate a 23% increase in the number of CKD-associated ER visits and hospitalizations.

3. Escalating rates of CKD will have a significant economic impact.

    • Projections show 2.85 billion missed workdays due to patient absenteeism and 327 million missed workdays due to caregiver absenteeism over 10 years.
    • As a result, the studied countries could lose a combined 37 billion USD in tax revenue.

    4. By prioritizing kidney health, policymakers can protect the environment.

      The CKD environmental impact projections for 2032 across these countries indicate:

      • 440 million m3 of freshwater consumption used in treatment, equating to annual water usage of about 2.7 million households.
      • 11 billion kg oil eq. of fossil fuel use, equating to power for about 149.7 million lightbulbs.
      • 29 billion kg CO2 eq. of carbon use and CO2 emissions, equating to about 17.3 million cars.

      Given these findings, the Global Patient Alliance for Kidney Health calls on policymakers to transform kidney health through early detection and treatment of CKD.

      About the Study Analysis

      The study analysis was prepared using a patient-level simulation the London School of Economics created studying 1 million individual patients based on country population size. The model projected the impact of CKD for 2022–2032 in the United States, Brazil, UK, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, China and Australia.

      About the Author

      Professor Tangri is a practicing physician in the Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, Canada. He serves as Chair of the Medical Advisory Council of the Global Patient Alliance for Kidney Health.