Chronic kidney disease prevalence varies greatly across Europe

December 22, 2015

Washington, DC (December 22, 2015) -- The first study to carefully characterize the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) across Europe found considerable variation. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

Knowledge on the number of patients suffering from CKD is central to efforts related to managing and preventing the disease. In what represents the first attempt to carefully characterize CKD prevalence in Europe, Katharina Brück, MD (Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and her colleagues, on behalf of the European CKD Burden Consortium, collected data from 19 general-population studies from 13 European countries. They increased the comparability of CKD prevalence across studies in several ways, for example by using the same definition for CKD and by using calculations to correct for different age distributions in the various regions.

The investigators found substantial variation in the prevalence CKD across countries, ranging from 3% to 17%. This large variation appears to be due to factors other than the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, which are well-known risk factors for CKD. Possible explanations might relate to differences in environmental and lifestyle factors, public health policies, and genetic influences.

"Our results may be used to guide future projections of the CKD burden in Europe and thereby help estimate the growing demand for CKD services that the ageing population will likely create," said Dr. Brück. "Identification of countries with a relatively low or high CKD prevalence will guide the medical community and policy makers where to focus prevention and disease management strategies."
Study co-authors include Vianda Stel, PhD, Giovanni Gambaro, MD, PhD, Stein Hallan, MD, PhD, Henry Völzke, MD, PhD, Johan Ärnlöv, MD, PhD, Mika Kastarinen, MD, PhD, Idris Guessous, MD, PhD, José Vinhas MD, Bénédicte Stengel, MD, PhD, Hermann Brenner, MD, PhD, Jerzy Chudek, MD, PhD, Solfrid Romundstad, MD, Charles Tomson, MD , Alfonso Otero Gonzalez, MD, PhD, Aminu K. Bello, MD, PhD, Jean Ferrieres, MD, PhD, Luigi Palmieri, MSc, PhD, Gemma Browne, MD, PhD, Vincenzo Capuano, MD, Wim Van Biesen, MD, PhD, Carmine Zoccali, MD, PhD, Ron Gansevoort, MD, PhD, Gerjan Navis, MD, PhD, Dietrich Rothenbacher, MD, PhD, Pietro Manuel Ferraro, MD, Dorothea Nitsch, MD, MSc, PhD, Christoph Wanner, MD, PhD, and Kitty Jager, MD PhD, on behalf of the European CKD Burden Consortium.

Disclosures: The research leading to these results has received funding from (1) the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement number HEALTH-F2-2009-241544 (SysKID), and (2) the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) under the Quality European Studies initiative. K. Brück, VS Stel, C Wanner and KJ Jager are part of the ERA-EDTA Registry which is an official body of the ERA-EDTA.

The article, entitled "CKD Prevalence Varies across the European General Population," will appear online at on December 22, 2015. doi:10.1681/ASN.2015050542

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, and with nearly 16,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

American Society of Nephrology

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