Background: The incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in England is increasing. There is a higher incidence of ESRD in British Indo-Asians than in the White population.
Aim: To determine to what degree the increasing demand for renal replacement therapy in the UK is due to Indo-Asian patients. To study the presentation to renal services of Indo-Asian patients with ESRD and report any inequalities in initial treatment of Indo-Asian patients with ESRD compared to their White counterparts.
Design: Prospective, inception cohort study.
Methods: Consecutive adult patients with ESRD who started renal replacement therapy between 1 April 2000 and 31 December 2001 in all 14 renal units serving an area from North Cheshire to South Cumbria, including Greater Manchester and Lancashire, were recruited and interviewed.
Results: Of the 578 patients, 9.5% were Indo-Asian. The annual acceptance rate for renal replacement therapy was 342 per million population in Indo-Asians, compared with 91 per million population in the White population ( p < 0.001). Indo-Asian patients with ESRD were younger (median age 51 years vs. 60 yrs, p = 0.006) and more socially deprived (81% vs. 36.5% in the 5th Carstairs quintile, p < 0.001). A greater proportion of Indo-Asian patients with ESRD presented late to specialist renal services (31% vs. 19%, p = 0.03). Once adjusting for their younger age, atherosclerotic renovascular disease and/or hypertensive nephropathy was more prevalent in Indo-Asian patients (OR 4.9; p = 0.03). There was no difference in the initial mode of maintenance dialysis or the perception of choice the patients felt they had, based on their ethnicity.
Discussion: There is a silent epidemic of ESRD in Indo-Asian patients in the North-West, possibly vascular in aetiology, in which specialist intervention is late. This suggests that Indo-Asian patients should be prioritized for early intervention strategies to reduce the burden of ESRD.