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Island medicine longitudinal cohort study: Rapid rise in chronic kidney disease in rural and remote communities.

Nephrology 2024 March 28
AIM: To determine the change in incidence and prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in rural and remote communities over the last decade.

METHODS: We examined the change in age-standardized incidence and prevalence in Tasmania between 2010 and 2020, using a linked dataset that included any adult with a creatinine test taken in a community laboratory during the study period (n = 581 513; 87.8% of the state's adult population). We defined CKD as two measures of eGFR <60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 , at least 3 months apart.

RESULTS: State-wide age-standardized prevalence of CKD increased by 28% in the decade to 2020, from 516 to 659 per 10 000 population. Prevalence in men increased 31.3% and women 24.8%. The greatest increase in age-standardized prevalence was seen in rural or remote communities with an increase of 36.6% overall, but with considerable variation by community (range + 0.4% to +88.3%). The increase in the actual number of people with CKD in the decade to 2020 was 67%, with the number of women increasing by 58% and men by 79%.

CONCLUSION: The age-standardized prevalence of CKD in rural and remote regions has increased considerably over the past decade, likely compounded by limited access to primary and secondary healthcare. These findings highlight the need to ensure healthcare resources are directed to areas of greatest need.

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