World Kidney Day on March the 12 has just passed (and Australia will observe it at a later date), but that doesn’t mean that kidney health education stops. World Kidney Day aims to raise awareness about kidney health, just not in the Western world, but in developing nations too. David Harris’ latest editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia (2015; 202 (5): 227) responds to World Kidney Day and the health inequalities in disadvantaged population groups:
“Global inequity in the distribution of both the burden and management of kidney disease is behind the theme of World Kidney Day, 12 March 2015, “Kidney Health for All”. It will be observed in Australia later in March. Disadvantaged populations experience greater risk, prevalence and progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD); less access to, and worse outcomes from, both dialysis and transplantation; and higher incidence and decreased recovery after acute kidney injury.”
In general, patient outcomes can be worse in developing nations because of lack of access to healthcare. Health and wellbeing Australia is largely taken for granted, and it can be easy to forget that there are disadvantaged population groups on home turf. There is almost a 1 in 2 prevalence in high risk population groups:
“Worldwide prevalence of adult CKD is about 10%, reaching up to 50% in high-risk populations, including the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, for whom CKD prevalence is twice the national average. The prevalence of advanced (stage 4 and 5) CKD is four times higher among Indigenous peoples than among non-Indigenous Australians, and up to 20 times as high among remote and very remote populations.”
Worldwide disadvantaged populations are also identified as high risk groups. An unequal distribution of prevelance is also seen in developing nations and is linked with other chronic health problems, Harris writes:
“Poor countries in upward economic transition experience higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and obesity… Recognition of the close association of kidney disease with other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is growing slowly. CKD is yet to receive the attention given to other NCDs within the World Health Organization and the NCD Alliance.”
Australia will observe Australian World Kidney Day on Thursday, 26th of March.