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An estimated 1.7 million (10%) Australian adults aged 18 years and over had biomedical signs of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 2011–12, based on measured data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2011–12 Australian Health Survey. The vast majority of these (97%) showed early signs of the disease (stages 1–3). CKD remains a highly under-diagnosed condition―only 10% of the survey respondents who showed biomedical signs of CKD also self-reported that they had the condition. Therefore, this section reports measured data from the ABS 2011–12 Australian Health Survey instead of self-reported data from the more recent ABS 2014–15 National Healthy Survey.
In 2011–12, the prevalence of biomedical signs of CKD among adults:
Note: Based on biomedical data (eGFR and ACR results).
Source: AIHW analysis of ABS Microdata: Australian Health Survey, Core Content—Risk Factors and Selected Health Conditions, 2011–12 (Data table).
In 2011–12, the prevalence of biomedical signs of CKD among adults was similar by remoteness and generally increased with socioeconomic disadvantage (Figure 2). Proportions were:
Source: AIHW analysis of ABS Microdata: Australian Health Survey, Core Content – Risk Factors and Selected Health Conditions, 2011–12 (Data table).
An estimated 1 in 5 (18%) Indigenous adults (59,600 people) had biomedical signs of CKD, according to the ABS 2012–13 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey.
Indigenous Australian adults were twice as likely to have biomedical signs of CKD as their non-Indigenous counterparts (22% and 10%, respectively, after taking into account differences in the age structure of the populations).
Information on the prevalence and incidence of people with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) who receive kidney replacement therapy (KRT) in the form of a kidney transplant or dialysis can be obtained from the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA). However, this registry does not contain information on those who do not receive KRT.
The following section reports the incidence of both KRT-treated and non-KRT-treated ESKD as this provides a more complete picture of the burden of ESKD.
There were around 5,100 new cases of ESKD in Australia in 2013—around 14 cases per day which equates to an incidence rate of 19 cases per 100,000 population.
The absolute number of new cases of ESKD increased by 51% between 1997 and 2013, from 3,400 to 5,100. Despite increases in the number of new cases of ESKD, the age-standardised incidence rates have remained relatively stable over this period, an average of 21 cases per 100,000 population per year (Figure 3).
Note: Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard Population.
Sources: Linked ANZDATA, AIHW National Mortality Database and National Death Index (Data table).
In 2013, the incidence rate for ESKD:
In 2009–2013, the incidence of ESKD increased with remoteness and socioeconomic disadvantage. Incidence rates were:
Source: Linked ANZDATA, AIHW National Mortality Database and National Death Index (Data table).
In 2009–2013, there were around 1,400 new cases of ESKD among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the five jurisdictions (New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory) with adequate identification of Indigenous status.
For more information on CKD and ESKD, see Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts: prevalence and incidence, Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease: Australian facts: Indigenous Australians and Incidence of end-stage kidney disease in Australia, 1997–2013.