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AIHW - Dialysis and kidney transplantation in Australia: 1991-2010
ISBN 978-1-74249-322-0; Cat. no. PHE 162; 52pp.; $18 Read this AIHW report and AIHW media release

End-stage kidney disease is a serious and costly health problem in Australia that usually requires kidney replacement therapy (dialysis or kidney transplantation) for patients to survive. 

At the end of 2009 there were more than 18,000 people receiving kidney replacement therapy. The majority received dialysis treatment, which accounted for more than 1.1 million hospitalisations in the 2009-10 financial year. During 2009 more than 2,300 patients started kidney replacement therapy and 772 kidney transplant operations were performed.

The number of Australians treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation for their end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) almost tripled between 1991 and 2009

  • Diabetes-related kidney damage was the leading cause of treated ESKD in 2009, accounting for 33% of new cases compared with 13% in 1991.
  • From 1991 to 2009, the number of transplants performed each year increased from 470 to 772, largely due to a rise in donations from living donors.

However, this rise in transplant numbers has not been able to keep up with the increasing number of ESKD patients. From 1991 to 2009, the proportion of treated ESKD patients with a functioning transplant decreased from 53% to 43%.

  • Compared to those from urban areas, treated ESKD patients in remote areas are less likely to have a functioning kidney transplant.
  • Dialysis treatment was the number one reason for hospitalisation in 2009-10, making up over 1.1 million hospitalisations, or 13% of the total hospitalisations for this period.

Projections of the incidence of treated End-Stage Kidney Disease in Australia 2010-2020

This report presents projections of the incidence of end-stage kidney disease treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation (treated ESKD) for the period 2010 to 2020. This information is important for health service planning and resource allocation in the future. The projections are made by sex at national and state/territory levels, and for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients with diabetes when commencing treatment. The incidence of treated ESKD is projected to continue to rise over the next decade; increasing by nearly 80% between 2009 and 2020. The proportion of those commencing ESKD treatment with diabetes is also expected to increase, from 45% in 2009 to 64% in 2020.

Economic Impact of the Burden of ESKD in Australia - Projections to 2020
Released November 2010 See Executive Summary or download full report
ISBN 978-1-74249-201-8; Cat. no. PHE 150; 64pp.; INTERNET ONLY

The cost of treating end-stage kidney disease from 2009 to 2020 is estimated at around $12 billion to the Australian Government. This reports reveals the incidence of kidney disease is growing at a serious rate, projected to increase by more than 54% to 2020. This report findings have prompted KHA to call on State and Territory Governments to improve access to home-based dialysis for patients. The report estimates that by increasing the use of home dialysis over the next 10 years would lead to estimated net savings of between $378 and $430 million for the health system - annual costs per person for home dialysis $49,137, compared to $79,072 for hospital dialysis.  

Burden of Chronic Kidney Disease in Australia - published 2006 

Kidney Health Australia commissioned these reports to establish comprehensive research into the economic burden of kidney disease in Australia. Research undertaken and reports written by The George Institute for International Health in collaboration with University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and ANZDATA Registry.


AIHW quick links: CKD Monitoring Advisory Committee  at  www.aihw.gov.au/ncmckd *  National Centre for Monitoring CKD  * AIHW CKD statistics reports and publications  *  Key facts on CKD in Australia  *  National Hospital Morbidity Database

Chronic Kidney Disease Hospitalisations in Australia 2000-01 to 2007-08
Refer AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database  *Report summary  *Full report

Author AIHW. Published 18 August 2010; ISBN-13 978-1-74249-049-6; Cat no PHE 127; 68pp; $25

CKD is a long-term health condition where a person has kidney damage and/or reduced kidney function lasting for 3 months or more. People with CKD require extensive hospital services, particularly those with end-stage kidney disease who need regular dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. The report shows that CKD contributed to almost 1.2 million hospitalisations in Australia in 2007-08, one million of which were for regular dialysis. 

Between 2000-01 and 2007-08, the number of hospitalisations for regular dialysis increased by about 70% - an average of nearly 60,000 hospitalisations per year. While it has been estimated that as many as 1 in 7 Australians aged 25 years and over have some degree of CKD, the disease is much more common among the elderly, and hospitalisation rates are highest among those aged over 70 years. Although some of the increase in hospitalisations for CKD can be attributed to the aging of the population, even after adjusting for age, these increases remain.

  • In 2007-08, chronic kidney disease contributed to 15% (nearly 1.2 million) of all hospitalisations in Australia, one million of which were for regular dialysis.
  • Hospitalisations for regular dialysis increased by an average of 60,000 per year between 2000-01 and 2007-08, equating to a 71% increase over this period. Increases of 12% for other principal diagnoses of CKD and 48% for additional diagnoses were also recorded.
  • The report shows that men were 1.6 times as likely as women to be hospitalised for regular dialysis.
  •  Indigenous Australians were hospitalised at 11 times the rate of their non-Indigenous counterparts. and were hopitalised at 5 times the rate for other principal and additional CKD diagnoses.

Australia's Health 2010 - No 12 
Authored by AIHW 12th biennial health report - Published 23 June 2010
ISSN 1032-6138; ISBN-13 978-1-74249-002-1; AIHW cat no AUS 122; 567pp.; $60 




Quick Link: Clinical Trials - KHA site>

Australian Kidney Trials Network (AKTN) delivers high quality clinical trials to improve the health and wellbeing of people with kidney disease. It conducts and supports a broad range of research concerned with the prevention and treatment of kidney disease, emphasising patient-centred outcomes.

To achieve this AKTN designs, conducts and supports clinical trials and fosters clinical trials expertise in Australia and New Zealand in conjunction with global collaborators. Part of early work of the AKTN was funded by a Kidney Health Australia Bootle Grant. The scope of research includes:

  • clinical trials in both paediatric and adult populations
  • secondary prevention trials in high risk populations such as those with diabetes, Indigenous groups, and those with proteinuria
  • trials in patients with end-stage kidney disease, in particular the renal dialysis and renal transplant populations
  • trials in patients with acute renal failure

Information on Clinical Trials




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Page updated 5 March 2015

Statistics and reports on CKD Minimize
Stage 2 Costing Study Report-Chapters 4-5For download from low speed connections
Stage 2 Costing Study Report AppendicesFor download from low speed connections
Stage 2 Costing Study CKD PreventionFull report - large download
Stage 2 Costing Study - Executive SummaryRead the Summary to absorb key points quickly
Stage 2 - Costing Study Report Chapters 1-3For low speed connections
Economic Impact of ESKF in AustraliaPublished 2006
Economic Impact of End-Stage Kidney Disease In AustraliaProjections to 2020
  The material contained on this site does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for information purposes only. Published by Kidney Health Australia. Privacy Policy. For information about website content please contact the National Communications Manager.

© 2008 Kidney Health Australia

Last updated: Apr 2015.