By 2030 the number of people receiving treatment is predicted to double to over 5 million, creating an urgent need for affordable dialysis and population-wide prevention strategies for kidney disease.
Latest research by The George Institute for Global Health published today in The Lancet shows that each year more than two million people globally die unnecessarily because they cannot access treatment for kidney failure (dialysis or a kidney transplant).
The research shows that the largest number of these preventable deaths occurred in India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Nigeria, where less than a quarter of eligible patients receive treatment for kidney failure.
Lead author, Professor Vlado Perkovic of The George Institute, said the findings present a grim picture of the prevalence of kidney failure, which is worse than previously thought. "The sad reality is that most of these deaths are preventable and the biggest burden lies in low to middle income countries where there are instances of less than a quarter of patients receiving treatment for kidney failure," he said.
"The data shows that previous estimates of the number of patients who develop end stage kidney failure and die without getting treatment in India seem to be gross under-estimate. Over coming decades the number of patients with kidney failure rates will grow rapidly and millions of people appear doomed to die without access to dialysis without specific action, with India being hit hard," said Prof. Vivekanand Jha, executive director, The George Institute Global Health, India and Secretary, Indian Society of Nephrology.
"We urgently need to find ways to get people the treatment they need by making dialysis affordable, and by implementing preventative measures so fewer people develop kidney failure in the first place," he said.