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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) contributed to 11% of all deaths in 2014, that is around 16,500 deaths, according to the AIHW National Mortality Database. CKD was the underlying cause of death in around 4,000 deaths (24% of CKD deaths). It was an associated cause of death in a further 12,500 deaths (76% of CKD deaths). 

Trends

Rates for CKD as the underlying and/or associated cause of death remained relatively stable between 1997 and 2014 (54 to 61 per 100,000 population).

On average, CKD was the underlying and/or associated cause of death in around 12,700 deaths per year between 1997 and 2014. This equates to death rates of 72–80 per 100,000 population for males and 42–48 per 100,000 for females (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Trends in CKD deaths (underlying and/or associated cause), by sex, 1997–2014

The line chart shows that from 1997 to 2014, the rate of CKD deaths (as the underlying and/or associated cause) remained relatively stable—72–80 deaths per 100,000 population for males and 42–48 cases per 100,000 population for females. Male rates were consistently higher than female rates over this period.

Note: Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard Population.

Source: AIHW National Mortality Database (Data table).

Age and sex

In 2014, CKD death rates (as the underlying and/or associated cause):

  • Were overall 1.5 times as high among males than females (2,315 and 1,569 deaths per 100,000 population). Age-specific rates for males were higher than females across all age groups (Figure 2).
  • Increased with age, with half (51%) occurring in those aged 85 and over. CKD death rates for males and females were highest in the 85 and over age group (2,315 and 1,569 per 100,000)―4 times as high for males and 5 times as high for females aged 75–84 years (574 and 346 per 100,000) (Figure 2).

Figure 2: CKD deaths (underlying or associated cause), by age and sex, 2014

The vertical bar chart shows that in 2014, CKD deaths (as the underlying and/or associated cause) increased rapidly from age 75 for both males & females. Rates were highest in those aged 85 & over for both males & females (2,315 & 1,569 per 100,000), which was  4 times the rate for males & 5 times as the rate for females aged 75–84 years (574 & 346 per 100,000). Males had consistently higher rates than females across all age groups.

Source: AIHW National Mortality Database (Data table).  

Inequalities

CKD death rates (as the underlying and/or associated cause of death) increased with remoteness and socioeconomic disadvantage, and were higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:

  • 1.7 times as high in Remote and very remote areas compared with Major cities (95 compared with 55 per 100,000 population, in 2012–2014). The gap in these death rates was greater for females than males—2.3 times as high for females (96 compared with 42 per 100,000) and 1.4 times as high for males (98 compared with 72 per 100,000) (Figure 3).
  • 1.6 times as high in the lowest socioeconomic group compared with the highest socioeconomic group (69 compared with 44 per 100,000, in 2012–2014).
  • Overall 4 times as high among Indigenous Australians compared with their non-Indigenous counterparts (207 and 55 deaths per 100,000, in 2012–2014). This disparity was higher for females than males―5 times as high for females (219 compared with 43 per 100,000) and 2.7 times as high for males (192 compared with 72 per 100,000) (Figure 3).

Figure 3: CKD deaths (underlying and/or associated cause), by selected population characteristics, 2012–2014

The horizontal bar chart shows that in 2012–14, CKD death rates (as an underlying and/or associated cause) in Remote/Very remote areas compared with Major cities were 2.3 times as high for females (96 & 42 per 100,000) & 1.4 times as high for males (98 & 72 per 100,000). Similarly, rates in the lowest socioeconomic group (group 1) compared to the highest socioeconomic group (group 5) were 1.7 times as high for females (58 & 35 per 100,000) & 1.5 times as high for males (85 & 58 per 100,000).  CKD death rates for Indigenous females were 5 times as high & Indigenous males 2.7 times as high as their non-Indigenous counterparts (219 & 43 per 100,000 for males & 192 & 72 per 100,000 for females).

Notes

  1. Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard Population.
  2. Analysis for socioeconomic groups is for 2014 only.
  3. Analysis for Indigenous status includes data from NSW, QLD, WA, SA and NT only.

Source: AIHW National Mortality Database (Data table).

For more information on how deaths are registered, coded and updated, see about deaths data.

For more information, see Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts: mortality and Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts—Indigenous Australians.