An update on chronic kidney disease in Aboriginal Australians

Wendy E. Hoy, Susan A. Mott, Stephen P. McDonald

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1 Citation (Scopus)


We provide a brief update on some aspects of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Indigenous Australians, with CKD referring to all stages of pre-terminal kidney disease, as well as to end-stage kidney failure (ESKF), whether or not a person receives renal replacement therapy (RRT). Recently recorded rates of ESKF and RRT were 6- and 8-fold those recoded for non-Indigenous Australians with age adjustment, while non-dialysis CKD hospitalizations and CKD-attributed deaths were 8-fold and 3-fold higher. The median age of Indigenous people who developed ESKF was ~ 30 years less than for non-Indigenous people, and 84% of them received RTT, while only half of non-Indigenous people with ESKF did so. However, the nationwide average Indigenous incidence rate of RRT appears to have stabilized. The 2012 Australian Health Survey showed elevated levels of CKD markers in Indigenous people at the community level. For all CKD parameters, rates among Indigenous people were strikingly correlated with increasing remoteness of residence and socioeconomic disadvantage, and there was a female predominance in remote areas. The burden of renal disease in Australian Indigenous people is seriously understated by Global Burden of Disease Mortality methodology, because it employs underlying cause of death only, and because deaths of people on RRT are frequently attributed to non-renal causes. These data give a much-expanded view of CKD in Aboriginal people. Methodologic approaches must be remedied for a full appreciation of the burden, costs, and outcomes of the disease, to direct appropriate policy development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S124-S128
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Aboriginal Australians
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Kidney failure
  • Renal replacement therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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