Background: The burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global challenge. Empirical evidence of low CKD awareness rates in developed countries speaks for an urgent need to strengthen strategies for CKD identification and prevention. The aim of this study is to estimate the awareness rate of CKD in Taiwan to promote early detection of CKD in this country.
Methods: Data from a nationally representative survey were used for analysis. The study included 6,001 subjects. The simplified Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation was used to define glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and CKD stages according to criteria of the US National Kidney Foundation. Descriptive methods were used to analyze data.
Results: The prevalence of CKD stages 3 to 5 in Taiwan is 6.9% (95% confidence interval, 4.4 to 9.4). Awareness rates for CKD in Taiwan are low: 8.0% for individuals with stage 3, 25.0% for those with stage 4, and 71.4% for those with stage 5. Awareness rate is related closely to serum creatinine level: those with creatinine levels greater than 1.6 mg/dL (>141 micromol/L) are more likely to be informed of having a kidney disease.
Conclusion: The high prevalence and low awareness of CKD in Taiwan explicitly show the need to advocate more strongly for CKD prevention and education for both physicians and the populace. Establishment of a mandated automatic GFR reporting system may be the first priority we need to accomplish in Taiwan to improve kidney well-being.