Malaysia is No 1 in treated renal diseases growth, but don’t panic


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020

PETALING JAYA: While on paper Malaysia ranks top among 90 countries for having the highest annual growth rate for treated end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the rise is not an alarming trend, says the National Kidney Foundation (NFK).

“The rise in the number of treated ESRD is not a new trend and affects not only Malaysia but other countries as well.

“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, ” NKF chairman Datuk Dr Zaki Morad Mohd Zaher said when contacted.

He said the increase in the number of treated ESRD is also because more Malaysians have better access to medical facilities for treatment compared to a decade ago.

“The rise in treated ESRD is not a natural increase.

“It has increased because we are able to treat more and more patients, ” he added.

Dr Zaki said that Malaysia has some 42,000 treated ESRD patients.

He was responding to the US Renal Data System annual data report for 2018 which revealed that the number of Malaysians treated for ESRD due to diabetes from 2003 and 2016 rose to 9.5 patients per million general population (PMP).

“In 2016, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Jalisco region of Mexico reported the highest proportions of patients with new ESRD due to diabetes mellitus (commonly referred to as “diabetes”).

“The incidence rate of treated ESRD in Malaysia rose an average of 13.2 per cent from 2003 to 2016, second only after Thailand which saw a 19.4 per cent rise, ” the report stated.

The countries that saw negative growth in treated ESRD were Belgium, Austria, Sweden and Finland.

The study also found that among the population of younger adults aged 20-44 years, the United States reported the highest ESRD incidence rate of 134 PMP followed by Malaysia at 111 PMP.

The report also found the lowest rates of kidney transplantation, at one to five PMP, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Ukraine, Macedonia, South Africa, Philippines, Peru, and Bulgaria.

Nordic countries such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden were among the countries with the highest proportion of kidney transplants among ESRD patients.

The six countries with the highest yearly change in the prevalence of dialysis PMP from 2003 to 2016 were Taiwan (109) and Thailand (98), followed by Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore (54 to 70 PMP per year).

The report noted that haemodialysis continues to be the most common form of dialysis therapy in nearly all countries.

Dr Zaki also said Malaysia has been included in the US Renal Data System annual report for the last 15 years.

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