Incidence of kidney replacement therapy
An estimate of the incidence of KRT can be obtained from the ANZDATA Registry. This registry includes information on people who have had KRT in the form of dialysis or a kidney transplant. It does not contain information on people with kidney failure who do not receive KRT.
Not everyone with kidney failure chooses to receive KRT, opting instead for medical management, with a focus on quality of life and symptom control. Therefore, estimates of the total prevalence of kidney failure need to count cases of people who are receiving KRT and those who are not.
Estimating the true incidence of kidney failure in Australia requires linkage between ANZDATA and the National Death Index. This was most recently performed in 2013 and showed that of the 5,100 new cases of kidney failure in 2013, half (2,500) were not receiving treatment with KRT (AIHW 2016). Work is underway by the AIHW to update this linkage (see Data gaps and opportunities).
The total incidence of kidney failure (treated and untreated) is an indicator in the Australian Health Performance Framework (AIHW 2022).
Variation by age and sex
During 2020, 3,300 people with kidney failure started KRT in Australia, at an average of 9 people per day (ANZDATA 2021). Of these, 66% were aged under 70 and 64% were males.
In 2020, the incidence rate of KRT:
- was 1.9 times as high in males as in females (age-standardised rate of 14.7 and 7.9 per 100,000 population, respectively)
- increased with age, to be highest among men and women aged 75–79 (68 and 29 per 100,000 population, respectively) before falling among those aged 80–84 and 85 and over (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Incidence of kidney replacement therapy, by age and sex, 2020