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Health conditions

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease is kidney damage and/or reduced kidney function lasting at least 3 months. Because up to 90% of kidney function can be lost before symptoms appear, diagnosis of kidney disease tends to occur at late stages when there are few treatment options and outcomes are poor. Chronic kidney disease is a common complication of diabetes (AIHW 2015).

People who have end-stage kidney disease—the most severe form of chronic kidney disease—often require dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.

Based on self-reported data, in 2018–19:

  • 1.8% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had kidney disease (14,700 people).
  • The prevalence of kidney disease was highest for those aged 55 and over (8%) (Figure HC 18).

Based on age-standardised rates (see Data and notes), Indigenous Australians were more likely to report having kidney disease than non-Indigenous Australians (2.7% of Indigenous Australians in 2018–19 compared to 0.9% of non-Indigenous Australians in 2017–18). Indigenous females were more likely to have kidney disease than Indigenous males (3.3% of females compared to 2.9% of males) (Figure HC 19).