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Geographical variation in chronic kidney disease

22 Dec 2017

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 1 in 10 Australian adults (around 1.7 million people). CKD occurs when there is evidence of kidney damage or reduced kidney function that has lasted for at least 3 months. It is a common and serious health problem and accounts for about 1 in 6 (17%) hospitalisations and 1 in 9 deaths in Australia every year.

CKD is largely preventable as many of its risk factors, such as high blood pressure, insufficient physical activity, overweight and obesity, and smoking, are ‘modifiable’— this means that measures can be taken to change them. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease (predominantly high blood pressure) are also major causes of CKD.  

The impact of CKD is not distributed evenly across geographic areas, with some areas experiencing considerably higher rates of CKD than others. This geographical variation is explored in a set of interactive maps that present data on prevalence, treatment (hospitalisations for CKD and dialysis) and deaths at 3 levels: by state/territory, by primary health network areas and by population health areas. Summary statistics on the prevalence of CKD risk factors (smoking, insufficient physical activity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes) and the demographic profile of the area are included to help with interpretation.

These maps contribute to the evidence base for developing prevention and management programs for CKD and other chronic conditions. They may also help to guide the planning and development of community health initiatives and local health services

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