Objectives: Studies from high-income countries suggest higher prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) among individuals in low socioeconomic groups. However, some studies from low/middle-income countries show the reverse pattern among those in high socioeconomic groups. It is unknown which pattern applies to individuals living in rural and urban Ghana. We assessed the association between socioeconomic status (SES) indicators and CKD in rural and urban Ghana and to what extent the higher SES of people in urban areas of Ghana could account for differences in CKD between rural and urban populations.
Setting: The study was conducted in Ghana (Ashanti region). We used baseline data from a multicentre Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants (RODAM) study.
Participants: The sample consisted of 2492 adults (Rural Ghana, 1043, Urban Ghana, 1449) aged 25-70 years living in Ghana.
Exposure: Educational level, occupational level and wealth index.
Outcome: Three CKD outcomes were considered using the 2012 Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes severity of CKD classification: albuminuria, reduced glomerular filtration rate and high to very high CKD risk based on the combination of these two.
Results: All three SES indicators were not associated with CKD in both rural and urban Ghana after age and sex adjustment except for rural Ghana where high wealth index was significantly associated with higher odds of reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (adjusted OR, 2.38; 95% CI 1.03 to 5.47). The higher rate of CKD observed in urban Ghana was not explained by the higher SES of that population.
Conclusion: SES indicators were not associated with prevalence of CKD except for wealth index and reduced eGFR in rural Ghana. Consequently, the higher SES of urban Ghana did not account for the increased rate of CKD among urban dwellers suggesting the need to identify other factors that may be driving this.
Keywords: chronic kidney disease; health inequalities; rodam study; rural; socioeconomic status; urban.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.