Sustainable Development Goals relevant to kidney health: an update on progress

Nat Rev Nephrol. 2021 Jan;17(1):15-32. doi: 10.1038/s41581-020-00363-6. Epub 2020 Nov 13.


Globally, more than 5 million people die annually from lack of access to critical treatments for kidney disease - by 2040, chronic kidney disease is projected to be the fifth leading cause of death worldwide. Kidney diseases are particularly challenging to tackle because they are pathologically diverse and are often asymptomatic. As such, kidney disease is often diagnosed late, and the global burden of kidney disease continues to be underappreciated. When kidney disease is not detected and treated early, patient care requires specialized resources that drive up cost, place many people at risk of catastrophic health expenditure and pose high opportunity costs for health systems. Prevention of kidney disease is highly cost-effective but requires a multisectoral holistic approach. Each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) has the potential to impact kidney disease risk or improve early diagnosis and treatment, and thus reduce the need for high-cost care. All countries have agreed to strive to achieve the SDGs, but progress is disjointed and uneven among and within countries. The six SDG Transformations framework can be used to examine SDGs with relevance to kidney health that require attention and reveal inter-linkages among the SDGs that should accelerate progress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catastrophic Illness / economics
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Early Medical Intervention
  • Education
  • Gender Equity
  • Health Expenditures
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / economics
  • Kidney Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy*
  • Nephrology*
  • Poverty
  • Renal Replacement Therapy*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Sustainable Development*
  • Universal Health Care
  • Violence