International Society of Nephrology Global Kidney Health Atlas: structures, organization, and services for the management of kidney failure in Latin America

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Kidney International Supplements


Latin America is a region with a widely variable socioeconomic landscape, facing a surge in noncommunicable diseases, including chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, exposing significant limitations in the delivery of care. Despite region-wide efforts to explore and address these limitations, much uncertainty remains as to the capacity, accessibility, and quality of kidney failure care in Latin America. Through this second iteration of the International Society of Nephrology Global Kidney Health Atlas, we aimed to report on these indicators to provide a comprehensive map of kidney failure care in the region. Survey responses were received from 18 (64.2%) countries, representing 93.8% of the total population in Latin America. The median prevalence and incidence of treated kidney failure in Latin America were 715 and 157 per million population, respectively, the latter being higher than the global median (142 per million population), with Puerto Rico, Mexico, and El Salvador experiencing much of this growing burden. In most countries, public and private systems collectively funded most aspects of kidney replacement therapy (dialysis and transplantation) care, with patients incurring at least 1% to 25% of out-of-pocket costs. In most countries, >90% of dialysis patients able to access kidney replacement therapy received hemodialysis (n = 11; 5 high income and 6 upper-middle income), and only a small minority began with peritoneal dialysis (1%–10% in 67% of countries; n = 12). Few countries had chronic kidney disease registries or targeted detection programs. There is a large variability in the availability, accessibility, and quality of kidney failure care in Latin America, which appears to be subject to individual countries’ funding structures, underreliance on cheap kidney replacement therapy, such as peritoneal dialysis, and limited chronic kidney disease surveillance and management initiatives.

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