In 2015, 634387 million people (9% of the world's population) resided in Latin America (LA), with half of those populating Brazil and Mexico. The LA Dialysis and Transplant Registry was initiated in 1991, with the aim of collecting data on renal replacement therapy (RRT) from the 20 LA-affiliated countries. Since then, the Registry has revealed a trend of increasing prevalence and incidence of end-stage kidney disease on RRT, which is ongoing and is correlated with gross national income, life expectancy at birth, and percentage of population that is older than 65 years. In addition, the rate of kidney transplantation has increased yearly, with > 70% being performed from deceased donors. According to the numbers reported for 2013, the rates of prevalence, incidence and transplantation were (in patients per million population) 669, 149 and 19.4, respectively. Hemodialysis was the treatment of choice (90%), and 43% of the patients undergoing this treatment was located in Brazil; in contrast, peritoneal dialysis prevailed in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala. To date, the Registry remains the only source of RRT data available to healthcare authorities in many LA countries. It not only serves to promote knowledge regarding epidemiology of end-stage renal disease and the related RRT but also for training of nephrologists and renal researchers, to improve understanding and clinical application of dialysis and transplantation services. In LA, accessibility to RRT is still limited and it remains necessary to develop effective programs that will reduce risk factors, promote early diagnosis and treatment of chronic kidney disease, and strengthen transplantation programs.
Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; Epidemiologic registries; Incidence; Kidney transplantation; Latin America; Prevalence; Renal replacement therapy; Risk factors.