Deaths from chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) contributed to 11% of all deaths in 2017 (around 17,500 deaths), according to the AIHW National Mortality Database. CKD was the underlying cause of death in around 4,400 deaths (25% of CKD deaths). It was an associated cause of death in a further 13,100 deaths (75% of CKD deaths). 

Trends

Age-standardised rates for CKD as the underlying or associated cause of death remained relatively stable between 1997 and 2017.

On average, CKD was the underlying or associated cause of death in around 13,300 deaths per year between 1997 and 2017. This equates to death rates of 69–80 per 100,000 population for males and 42–48 per 100,000 for females (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Trends in CKD deaths (underlying or associated cause), by sex, 1997–2017

CKD deaths for males decreased slightly in the period from 76 deaths per 100,000 population in 1997 to 69 deaths per 100,000 population in 2017. CKD deaths for females remained mostly stable in the period from 44 deaths per 100,000 population to 46 deaths per 100,000 population in 2017.

Note: Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard population.

Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW analysis of the National Mortality Database. (Data table)

Age and sex

In 2017, CKD death rates (as the underlying or associated cause):

  • were 1.5 times as high among males as females (69 and 46 deaths per 100,000 population, respectively). Age-specific rates for males were higher than females across all age groups (Figure 2).
  • increased with age, with half (50%) occurring in those aged 85 and over. CKD death rates for males and females were highest in the 85 and over age group (2,200 and 1,500 per 100,000, respectively)―at least 4 times as high for both males and females aged 75–84 years (546 and 347 per 100,000, respectively) (Figure 2).

Figure 2: CKD deaths (underlying or associated cause), by age and sex, 2017

CKD deaths increase with age, and are consistently higher for males than females. There is an increase for males from 546 deaths per 100,000 population in the 75-84 age group to 2,200 deaths per 100,000 population in the 85+ age group. For females there is also an increase from 347 deaths per 100,000 population in the 75-84 age group to 1,500 deaths per 100,000 population in the 85+ age group.

Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW analysis of the National Mortality Database.

Variation among population groups

CKD death rates (as the underlying or associated cause of death) increased with remoteness and socioeconomic disadvantage. The rates were:

  • almost 2 times as high in Remote and very remote areas compared with Major cities (101 compared with 54 per 100,000 population, in 2015–2017). The gap in these death rates was greater for females than males—2.4 times as high for females (102 compared with 43 per 100,000) and 1.5 times as high for males (102 compared with 68 per 100,000) (Figure 3).
  • almost twice as high in the lowest socioeconomic group compared with the highest socioeconomic group (72 compared with 42 per 100,000, in 2017). This gap was similar for males and females (Figure 3).

Figure 3: CKD deaths (underlying or associated cause), by selected population characteristics, 2015–2017

CKD deaths are higher in remote and very remote areas, with 102 deaths per 100,000 population for both males and females. This is lower in major cities with 68 deaths per 100,000 population for males and 43 deaths per 100,000 population for females.  The lowest socioeconomic group had the highest number of deaths, 87 deaths for males and 61 deaths for females per 100,000 population.

Notes

  1. Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard population.
  2. Analysis by socioeconomic groups is for 2017 only.

Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW analysis of the National Mortality Database. (Data table)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

In 2015–2017, among Indigenous Australians, there were 1,500 CKD-related deaths (as the underlying and/or associated cause), with a rate of 74 per 100,000 population (includes New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory only).

After adjusting for differences in the age structure of the populations:

  • The death rate among Indigenous Australians was almost 4 times as high as for non-Indigenous.
  • This disparity was higher for females than males―5 times as high for Indigenous females and 3 times as high for Indigenous males.