CKD and poverty: a growing global challenge

Am J Kidney Dis. 2009 Jan;53(1):166-74. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2007.10.047.


Approximately 1.2 billion individuals worldwide live in extreme poverty (< $1/d), and 2.7 billion live in moderate poverty (< $2/d). Poverty is most prevalent in developing countries, but does not spare richer economies, where huge income discrepancies have been reported. Poverty is a major health care marker affecting a number of chronic, communicable, and noncommunicable diseases. Poverty and social deprivation are known to affect the predisposition, diagnosis, and management of chronic diseases; they directly impact on the prevalence of such conditions as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Also, growing evidence links poverty to chronic kidney disease (CKD). This may be caused by a direct impact of poverty on CKD or indirectly through the increased health care burden linked to poverty-associated diabetes and hypertension. Furthermore, data have shown that the poor and socially deprived have a greater prevalence of end-stage renal disease. Access to renal care, dialysis, and transplantation may also be affected by social deprivation. Overall, poverty and social deprivation are emerging as major risk markers for CKD in both developing and developed countries. Their impact on CKD warrants careful analysis because it may confound the interpretation of CKD risk factors within communities. This review therefore aims to look at the evidence linking poverty to CKD and its major risk factors, namely, diabetes and hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / economics*
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Poverty / trends*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors