Aims: To determine if rates of diabetic and non-diabetic end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which had been rising in young and middle-aged adults in all populations up to the mid-1990s, had started to decline, and if so, whether improvement had occurred in respect of each of the principal primary renal diseases causing ESRD.
Methods: Poisson regression of age- and sex-standardized incidence of ESRD for persons aged 20-64 years in 18 populations from Europe, Canada and the Asia-Pacific region, for 1998-2002.
Results: In persons from 12 European descent (Europid) populations combined, there was a small downward trend in all-cause ESRD (-1.7% per year, P = 0.001), with type 1 diabetic ESRD falling by 7.8% per year (P < 0.001), glomerulonephritic ESRD by 3.1% per year (P = 0.001), and 'all other non-diabetic' ESRD by 2.5% per year (P = 0.02). The reductions in ESRD attributed to hypertensive (-2.2% per year) and polycystic renal disease (-1.5% per year) and unknown diagnosis (-0.2% per year) were not statistically significant. On the other hand, the incidence of type 2 diabetic ESRD rose by 9.9% per year (P < 0.001) in the combined Europid population, although that of (principally type 2) diabetic ESRD remained unchanged in the pooled data from the four non-Europid populations.
Conclusion: Recent preventive strategies, probably chiefly modern renoprotective treatment, appear to have been effective for tertiary prevention of ESRD caused by the proteinuric nephropathies other than type 2 diabetic nephropathy, for which the continuing increase in Europid populations represents a failure of prevention and/or a change in the nephropathic potential of type 2 diabetes.