Research released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows cases of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation are expected to increase significantly over the coming decade.


The research suggest that Australia’s aging population and increasing rate of diabetes are major contributing factors to the increase in ESKD.


The report, Projections of the incidence of treated end-stage kidney disease in Australia, 2010-2020, examines current trends to estimate the incidence (new cases) of treated ESKD in Australia in the future.


“ESKD is the fifth and final stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD), at which point kidney function has deteriorated to the degree that dialysis or transplant are required to survive,’ said AIHW spokesperson Lynelle Moon.


The report projects that the national incidence rate of treated ESKD could rise by up to 80%—from 11 cases per 100,000 people in 2009 to 19 cases per 100,000 people in 2020.


Given dialysis is the most common reason for hospitalisation in Australia, accounting for over 1.1 million hospitalisations each year, the estimated increase in incidence would have a large impact on health services, particularly hospitals.


"The increasing number of people with diabetes is expected to contribute significantly to the increase in treated ESKD nationally. This is reflected in the projected proportion of patients who have diabetes when commencing treatment increasing from about 45% in 2009 to 64% in 2020."


The incidence rate of treated ESKD is projected to rise for both sexes and across most age groups, although mainly in patients aged 70 years and older.