Burden of chronic kidney diseases and underlying causes in Zambia: evidence from the global burden of disease study 2019

BMC Nephrol. 2023 Feb 18;24(1):39. doi: 10.1186/s12882-023-03078-5.


Introduction: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been a global public health problem and a major source of suffering and poor quality of life for those afflicted. Using data from the global burden of disease (GBD) study 2019, we estimated the magnitude of the burden of CKD as well as the underlying causes of CKD in the Zambian population.

Method: The data used for this study were extracted from the GBD 2019 study. The GBD 2019 provides estimates of several metrics of disease burden including the commonly used disability-adjusted life year (DALYs) for over 369 diseases and injuries, and 87 risk factors and combinations of these in 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2019. We estimated the burden of CKD as the number and rates (per 100,000 population) of DALYs, disaggregated by year, sex, and age group. We examined the underlying causes of CKD by estimating the population attributable fraction as the percentage contributions of risk factors to CKD DALY.

Results: The number of DALYs for CKD was estimated as 76.03 million (95% UI: 61.01 to 93.36) in 2019 compared to 39.42 million (95% UI: 33.09 to 45.90) in 1990, representing 93% increase whereas the DALYs rate per 100,000 population was estimated as 416.89 (95% UI: 334.53 to 511.93) in 2019 compared to 496.38 (95% UI: 416.55 to 577.87) in 1990, representing 16% reduction. CKD due to hypertension accounted for 18.7% of CKD DALYs and CKD due to diabetes (types 1 and 2) accounted for 22.7%, while CKD from glomerulonephritis accounted for the most DALYs at 33%. The age group most impacted from CKD were adolescents and young adults.

Conclusion: The burden of CKD remains high in the Zambian population with diabetes, high blood pressure, and glomerulonephritis as important causes. The results highlight the need to develop a comprehensive action plan to prevent and treat kidney disease. Increasing the awareness of CKD among the public as well as adaptation of guidelines for treating patients with end stage kidney disease are important considerations.

Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; Diabetes; Disease burden; Hypertension; Underlying causes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Global Burden of Disease
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / complications
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult
  • Zambia / epidemiology