February 14, 2013—Aboriginal peoples are three times as likely to seek treatment for kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) as other Canadians, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).
Aboriginal patients with ESRD are less likely to receive kidney transplantation (27% versus 42%); however, those who do get a new kidney have survival rates that are similar to those for others in Canada (84% at five years), says the report End-Stage Renal Disease Among Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: Treatment and Outcomes.
By contrast, Aboriginal patients who undergo dialysis have a lower survival rate after five years (40% versus 45%).
In all, more than 40,000 Canadians were living with ESRD in 2011—roughly 1 out of every 1,000 people. The condition’s higher prevalence among Aboriginal peoples is consistent with the higher rates of diabetes and obesity among this population.
Aboriginal ESRD patients were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as their non-Aboriginal counterparts (49% versus 27%) and were more likely to be obese (40% versus 27%).
“Not only do disparities exist in rates and treatments for Aboriginal peoples with kidney failure, one in five must travel more than 250 km to receive treatment,” says Jeremy Veillard, Vice President of Research and Analysis at CIHI. “Fortunately, there are a number of programs aimed at improving the experiences of Aboriginal peoples with kidney disease by focusing on prevention, culturally appropriate care and overcoming geographic barriers.”
Canadians across the country still waiting for organ transplants
The analysis is based on data from CIHI’s Canadian Organ Replacement Register, whose latest report, Treatment of End-Stage Organ Failure in Canada, 2002 to 2011, is now available. Highlights from this year’s report include the following:
- Overall, the number of transplants remained virtually unchanged since 2006. In 2011, the number of deceased organ donors increased to 514, or 15 per million Canadians, which was the highest number in 10 years; however, the number of living donors declined.
- At the end of 2011, there were 4,543 patients waiting for an organ transplant; 3,406 of them needed kidneys. This number has been slowly increasing since 2005. Of the 265 patients who died waiting for an organ in 2011, 80 of them needed kidneys.
- In 2011, a total of 2,124 organ transplants were performed. This includes 1,247 people who received a kidney transplant.
- Four out of five patients on dialysis received hemodialysis in a hospital setting, which is the most expensive treatment option.
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