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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

High prevalence of undiagnosed chronic kidney disease among at-risk population in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo

Ernest K Sumaili13*, Eric P Cohen2, Chantal V Zinga1, Jean-Marie Krzesinski3, Nestor M Pakasa4 and Nazaire M Nseka1

Author Affiliations

1 Nephrology Unit, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, PO BOX 123 KIN XI, Democratic Republic of Congo

2 Nephrology Division, Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI, 53226, USA

3 Division of Nephrology/Transplantation, University of Liege, Sart Tilman B35, PO BOX 4000 LIEGE 1, Belgium

4 Previous address: Department of Pathology, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

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BMC Nephrology 2009, 10:18  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-10-18

Published: 21 July 2009

Abstract

Background

There is limited knowledge of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) among high risk populations, especially in the developing countries. We report our study of testing for CKD in at-risk subjects.

Methods

In a cross-sectional study, 527 people from primary and secondary health care areas in the city of Kinshasa were studied from a random sample of at-risk out-patients with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, or HIV+. We measured blood pressure (BP), blood glucose level, proteinuria, body mass index, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR by MDRD equation) using calibrated creatinine levels based on one random measurement. The associations between health characteristics, indicators of kidney damage (proteinuria) and kidney function (<60 ml/min/1.73 m2) were also examined.

Results

The prevalence of CKD in this study was 36%, but only 12% were aware of their condition. 4% of patients had stage 1 CKD, 6% stage 2, 18% stage 3, 2% stage 4, and 6% had stage 5. 24 hour quantitative proteinuria (>300 mg/day) was found in 19%. In those with the at-risk conditions, the % of CKD was: 44% in patients with hypertension, 39% in those with diabetes; 16% in the obese and 12% in those who were HIV+. 82% of those with a history of diabetes had elevated serum glucose levels at screening (≥ 126 mg/dl). Only 6% of individuals with hypertension having CKD had reduced BP to lower than 130/80 mmHg. In multivariate analysis, diabetes, proteinuria and hypertension were the strongest determinants of CKD 3+.

Conclusion

It appears that one out of three people in this at-risk population has undiagnosed CKD and poorly controlled CKD risk factors. This growing problem poses clear challenges to this developing country. Therefore, CKD should be addressed through the development of multidisciplinary teams and improved communication between traditional health care givers and nephrology services. Attention to CKD risk factors must become a priority.