Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Prof. Perkovic: There has been much discussion about the large number of people with kidney disease around the world- more than 10% of the population in most countries- but the current number of people with kidney failure had not been clearly defined.
We therefore systematically collected information on the number of people with kidney failure around the world and found that 2.6 million people were receiving treatment for kidney failure in 2010, almost 80% of whom were undergoing dialysis while the others had received a kidney transplant. We then noticed very large differences in the number of people receiving treatment in different regions and countries, so used mathematical modeling to calculate the number of people who should be receiving treatment for kidney failure. The results of this analysis suggested there should be between 5 and 10 million people receiving treatment for kidney failure, suggesting that between half and three-quarters of people with kidney failure around the world died without access to dialysis, as a result of the high cost of dialysis treatment that is not affordable for many people around the world. These people are doomed to die of kidney failure, a condition for which we have had an effective treatment for over 50 years.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Prof. Perkovic: The number of people with kidney failure is large and growing rapidly. We need to pay much more attention to prevention of kidney failure, by controlling blood pressure, diabetes and other conditions that we know to be risk factors for kidney failure.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Prof. Perkovic: Firstly, we need cheaper forms of dialysis so that this old, established treatment is available to all of those people who need it. To achieve this, we have partnered with the International Society of Nephrology and the Asia-Pacific Society of Nephrology to establish a prize aiming to encourage people to develop affordable dialysis technologies. The winner will win US$100,000.
Thaminda Liyanage, MBBS† Toshiharu Ninomiya, PhD†, Prof Vivekanand Jha, DM, Prof Bruce Neal, PhD, Halle Marie Patrice, MD, Ikechi Okpechi, PhD, Prof Ming-hui Zhao, PhD, Jicheng Lv, PhD, Prof Amit X Garg, PhD, John Knight, MBA, Prof Anthony Rodgers, PhD, Martin Gallagher, PhD, Sradha Kotwal, MD, Prof Alan Cass, PhD, Prof Vlado Perkovic, PhD
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Vlado Perkovic MBBS PhD FASN FRACP (2015). Most Kidney Failure Patients Around World Die Without Access to Dialysis