The contribution of chronic kidney disease to the global burden of major noncommunicable diseases

William G. Couser, Giuseppe Remuzzi, Shanthi Mendis, Marcello Tonelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the most common causes of premature death and morbidity and have a major impact on health-care costs, productivity, and growth. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease have been prioritized in the Global NCD Action Plan endorsed by the World Health Assembly, because they share behavioral risk factors amenable to public-health action and represent a major portion of the global NCD burden. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a key determinant of the poor health outcomes of major NCDs. CKD is associated with an eight- to tenfold increase in cardiovascular mortality and is a risk multiplier in patients with diabetes and hypertension. Milder CKD (often due to diabetes and hypertension) affects 5-7% of the world population and is more common in developing countries and disadvantaged and minority populations. Early detection and treatment of CKD using readily available, inexpensive therapies can slow or prevent progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Interventions targeting CKD, particularly to reduce urine protein excretion, are efficacious, cost-effective methods of improving cardiovascular and renal outcomes, especially when applied to high-risk groups. Integration of these approaches within NCD programs could minimize the need for renal replacement therapy. Early detection and treatment of CKD can be implemented at minimal cost and will reduce the burden of ESRD, improve outcomes of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (including hypertension), and substantially reduce morbidity and mortality from NCDs. Prevention of CKD should be considered in planning and implementation of national NCD policy in the developed and developing world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1258-1270
Number of pages13
JournalKidney International
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2 2011


  • chronic kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • epidemiology
  • health policy
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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