Introduction: The epidemiology of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and renal replacement therapy (RRT) is under continuous evolution all over the world. We report here the epidemiological analysis of ESRD and RRT in Iran and discuss it against the background of the international situation.
Methods: This epidemiological report is based on data from centre questionnaires which were collected in Iran from 1997 onwards, with a response rate of 100%.
Results: The prevalence/incidence of RRT patients were 238/49.9 p.m.p. in the year 2000. Haemodialysis and kidney transplantation were the most common RRT modalities, accounting for 53.7% and 45.5% of prevalent RRT patients, respectively. The proportion treated by peritoneal dialysis was very low (<1%). Home haemodialysis was not performed. The majority of haemodialysis centres used synthetic membranes (70%) and 100% of the sessions were performed using acetate as a buffer; 42.5% of haemodialysis patients were treated with a twice-weekly regimen, whilst 49.6% were on the standard thrice-weekly regimen. The majority of RRT patients in Iran were young to middle aged. The great majority of renal allografts came from living donors (mainly unrelated to recipients). The main renal diseases leading to ESRD were diabetes and hypertension. The third most common category was "cause unknown".
Conclusion: The epidemiology of RRT in Iran is characterized by: (i) young patient age (younger than the international average); (ii) high proportion of patients receiving renal allograft; (iii) use of living-unrelated donors as the major source of renal allografts.