This report provides the latest picture of chronic kidney disease in Australia and updates information from Chronic Kidney Disease in Australia 2005. Drawing on numerous data sources, it explains what chronic kidney disease is and describes its extent and patterns in the Australian community.

The picture

Based on the latest Australian data:

  • Chronic kidney disease is a common and serious problem.
  • More and more Australians are having dialysis or transplant for the disease's most severe form, end-stage kidney disease.
  • Diabetes is increasing and is now the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease.
  • Chronic kidney disease is especially common among Indigenous Australians.

Some numbers behind the picture

A common and serious problem: 1 in 7 Australian adults over the age of 25 years had some degree of chronic kidney disease in 1999-2000. Chronic kidney disease contributed to nearly 10% of all deaths in 2006 and over 1.1 million hospitalisations in 2006-07.

Treatment on the rise:the rate of people with a kidney transplant or receiving dialysis rose by 26% between 2000 and 2007.

Diabetes increasing: over the period 2000 to 2007, the number of new cases of end-stage kidney disease attributed to diabetes increased by two-thirds in those aged 55 years and over.

Common in Indigenous Australians: based on recent data, Indigenous Australians were 6 times as likely as other Australians to be receiving dialysis or to have had a kidney transplant. Death rates from chronic kidney disease were 7 and 11 times as high as for non-Indigenous males and females respectively.