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Figure 1: 5EU, Total and Diagnosed Prevalent Cases of CKD Stages I–III, Men and Women, Ages ≥20 Years, 2016. Credit: GlobalData.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant cause of morbidity and diminished quality of life for individuals with the disease. GlobalData epidemiologists analysed CKD epidemiology trends and found that the UK has the highest rate of diagnosis for early-stage CKD out of the five major European markets (5EU: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK).

CKD, also known as chronic renal disease, is an asymptomatic, long-term condition that damages the kidneys and leads to the loss of kidney function over time. As the disease progresses, the symptoms worsen, eventually leading to kidney failure. CKD is classified into five distinct classes depending on the level of impairment to normal kidney function, with the later stages signifying the worst kidney damage, and stage 5 considered to be end-stage renal disease.

GlobalData epidemiologists forecast that there were 43,236,031 total cases of CKD stage I-III in the 5EU, in 2016, of which only 16,280,379 (37.65%) were diagnosed. The UK accounted for 18,703,816 of the total prevalent cases, in 2016, of which 13,095,993 (70.02%) were diagnosed. CKD often goes undiagnosed in the earliest stages, as kidney function impairment and the associated symptoms are minimal. This creates a significant healthcare challenge that should be addressed in order to prevent end-stage renal disease through improved diagnosis and treatment of early-stage CKD.