BACKGROUND: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) imposes a substantial burden on health care systems. There are some especially vulnerable groups with a high CKD burden, one of which is women. We performed an analysis of gender disparities in the prevalence of all CKD stages and renal replacement therapy (defined as impaired kidney function [IKF]) in 195 countries.
METHODS: We used estimates produced by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2016 revision using a Bayesian-regression analytic tool, DisMoD-MR 2.1. Data on gross domestic product based on purchasing power parity per capita (GDP PPP) was obtained via the World Bank International Comparison Program database. To estimate gender disparities, we calculated the male:female all-age prevalence rate ratio for each IKF condition.
RESULTS: In 2016, the global number of individuals with IKF reached 752.7 million, including 417.0 million females and 335.7 million males. The most prevalent form of IKF in both groups was albuminuria with preserved glomerular filtration rate. Geospatial analysis shows a very heterogeneous distribution of the male:female ratio for all IKF conditions, with the most prominent contrast found in kidney transplant patients. The median male:female ratio varies substantially according to GDP PPP quintiles; however, countries with different economic states could have similar male:female ratios. A strong correlation of GDP PPP with dialysis-to-transplant ratio was found.
CONCLUSIONS: The GBD study highlights the prominent gender disparities in CKD prevalence among 195 countries. The nature of these disparities, however, is complex and must be interpreted cautiously taking into account all possible circumstances.