KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has attributed Malaysia’s 13 per cent annual increase of treated kidney failure cases, second-highest globally, to more accessible treatment.
NKF chairman Dr Zaki Morad Mohd Zaher told The Star Online that the rise was not an alarming trend, as it merely shows that more Malaysians have better access to medical treatments.
“The rise in the number of treated ESRD (end-stage renal disease) is not a new trend and affects not only Malaysia but other countries as well,” he reportedly said yesterday.
“Also, the increase is not a drastic rise in a short span of time but a gradual growth covering a 14-year period from 2003 to 2016,” he added.
According to the United States Renal Data System annual data report for 2018, the incidence rate of treated end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in Malaysia rose an average of 13.2 per cent per year from 2003 to 2016, putting the country at second place in the world. Thailand was in first place with 19.4 per cent.
Patients living with ESRD — the last stage in chronic kidney disease, or kidney failure — have kidneys that only function at 10 to 15 percent of their normal capacity. They need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive. There are 42,000 treated ESRD patients, according to Dr Zaki.
The annual data report also stated that in 2016, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Jalisco region of Mexico recorded the highest proportion of patients with new ESRD due to diabetes, at 67 per cent, 66 per cent, and 65 per cent, respectively.
The greatest average yearly increase in diabetes-related ESRD incidence rates from 2003 to 2016 also occurred in Malaysia and Jalisco, where incidence rates of treated ESRD due to diabetes increased by an average of 9.5 and 7.8 patients per million general population (PMP) per year, respectively, over the 14-year time period.
The incidence rate of treated ESRD for Malaysia in 2016, on the other hand, was 259 for every million people, making it the eighth highest country with treated ESRD cases, while among young adults aged 20 to 44 years, Malaysia reported the second highest treated ESRD incidence rate at 134 PMP, in 2016.