Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a major risk factor for mortality and morbidity, as well as a growing public health problem. Several studies describe the epidemiology of CKD (i.e. prevalence, incidence) by examining short time intervals. Conversely, the trend of epidemiology over time has not been well investigated, although it may provide useful information on how to improve prevention measures and the allocation of economic resources. Our aim here is to describe the main aspects of the epidemiology of CKD by focusing on its temporal variation. The global incidence of CKD has increased by 89% in the last 27 years, primarily due to the improved socio-demographic index and life-expectancy. Prevalence has similarly increased by 87% over the same period. Mortality rate has however decreased over the last decades, both in the general and CKD populations, due to a reduction in cardiovascular and infectious disease mortality. It is important to emphasize that the upward trend of incidence and prevalence of CKD can be explained by the ageing of the population, as well as by the increase in the prevalence of comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. It seems hard to compare trends between Italy and other countries because of the different methods used to assess epidemiologic measures. The creation of specific CKD Registries in Italy appears therefore necessary to monitor the trend of CKD and its comorbidities over time.
Keywords: chronic kidney disease, CKD, epidemiology, registers, socio-demographic index