2012 ERA-EDTA Registry Annual Report: cautious optimism on outcomes, concern about persistent inequalities and data black-outs

Clin Kidney J. 2015 Jun;8(3):243-7. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfv035. Epub 2015 May 21.


The 2012 ERA-EDTA Registry Annual Report contains both good news and bad news. On the bright side, the 2-year survival of patients starting renal replacement therapy (RRT) for chronic kidney disease (CKD), on dialysis or receiving a living-related kidney transplantation, has progressively increased to 82.2, 79.7 and 98.3%, respectively, whereas for cadaveric kidney transplantation it remains stable (96.0-96.1%). On the dark side, inequalities persist between European citizens in access to renal transplantation and in incidence and prevalence of RRT. Living in Greece, Belgium (French- or Dutch-speaking) or Portugal (the GBP countries) is associated with higher chances of initiating RRT than living in other European countries. The adjusted RRT incidence for GBP countries was 188, 201-174 and 220* (* unadjusted) pmp in 2012, respectively (versus 122, 114 and 97 pmp in the Netherlands or two Spanish regions bordering Portugal). In lower income countries, a low RRT incidence may represent lack of access to needed healthcare (e.g. Montenegro 26 pmp). However, how can the high incidence and prevalence of RRT in the GBP countries be explained? Do GBP citizens have access to RRT that is denied, rejected or considered unnecessary in other high income countries? Does the GBP healthcare system fail to prevent progression of CKD? Do local genetic or environmental factors favour CKD progression? Unravelling the underlying reasons is an urgent research need: only an understanding of the causes will allow correction of the problem. Unavailability of data from some large countries (e.g. Germany and Italy) is not helpful.

Keywords: access to healthcare; chronic kidney disease; dialysis; inequality; mortality.