Dialysis and kidney transplantation demand could rise

June 25, 2014 | Aged Care Management

Kidney replacement therapy is set to grow substantially over the next few years, rising by at least 45 per cent from 19,800 cases in 2011 to 28,800 cases in 2020.

"The predicted rise in treated-end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) prevalence between 2011 and 2020 easily exceeds predicted population growth of 13 per cent over the same period," said Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) spokesperson Sushma Mathur.

This information came as part of an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) study released on June 4. Aged care providers are likely to see growth in the number of residents affected over the next decade.

An estimated one-in-ten Australian adults currently have measured signs of the disease, which is often not diagnosed until it reaches the fifth and most severe stage. This is called end-stage kidney disease, and can lead to high economic burdens for patients, care staff and aged care facilities.

A key contributing factor to the growth of ESKD is the ageing Australian population, changes in propensity to treat and improvements in survival rates for patients undergoing dialysis treatment and kidney transplants.

Diabetes is also predicted to be a significant contributor over the next few years. Aged care facilities with services in place to treat diabetic patients may become the favoured choices for many older Australians.

"Diabetes, the most common cause of ESKD in Australia, is predicted to have a strong influence on future growth in the prevalence of treated-ESKD," she explained.

"In 2011, diabetes was the primary cause of treated-ESKD for 4,400 people. This number is projected to more than double."

Ms Mathur went on to explain the outcome of this trend, stating 48 per cent of all treated ESKD patients in 2020 will have a functioning kidney transplant, an increase from the 42 per cent in 2007.