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Open Access Research article

Chronic kidney disease among high school students of Kinshasa

Justine B Bukabau1, Jean-Robert R Makulo1, Nestor M Pakasa3, Eric P Cohen4, François B Lepira1, Patrick K Kayembe2, Nazaire M Nseka1 and Ernest K Sumaili1*

Author Affiliations

1 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nephrology Unit, University of Kinshasa, PO Box. 123 KIN XI, Kinshasa, DR, Congo

2 Democratic Republic of Congo School of Public Health, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, DR, Congo

3 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Department of pathology, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, DR, Congo

4 Nephrology Division, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA

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BMC Nephrology 2012, 13:24  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-24

Published: 4 May 2012



Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major worldwide health problem. However, its burden among adolescents and young adults is unknown, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study was to investigate its prevalence in the school environment. The concordance of usual formulas used to estimate renal function was also assessed.


In an epidemiological cross sectional study, a random sample of 524 pupils (263 boys, mean age of 18.7 ± 1.4 years) from school environment of Kinshasa were studied. Recorded parameters of interest were anthropometric, proteinuria, serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) according to the Schwartz formula using uncalibrated creatinine levels from one random measurement. CKD was defined as the presence of kidney damage (daily proteinuria ≥ 300 mg) and/or reduced kidney function (eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2). Concordances between eGFR according to Schwartz, Cockcroft-Gault (C-G) indexed for BSA and modification of diet in renal disease (MDRD) study equations were computed using the kappa coefficient.


The prevalence of CKD by the Schwartz formula was 1.5%. By stage, 0.8% had CKD stage 1 (proteinuria with normal eGFR) and 0.8% had CKD stage 3 (eGFR, 30 to 59 ml/min/1.73 m2). The prevalence of proteinuria ≥ 300 mg/day was 1% (one case had 2.7g/day). Agreement between eGFR according to Schwartz formula and the MDRD formula was excellent (kappa: 88.8%). Although correlations between all formulas were excellent (0.99; 0.87, and 0.89), agreement was poor between eGFR according to Schwartz and C-G indexed BSA equation (kappa: 52.7%) and, poorer with C-G unadjusted for BSA (kappa: 26.9%).


In the large African city of Kinshasa, 2% of high school students have CKD. This high prevalence rate emphasizes the need for appropriate detection and prevention measures in this vulnerable young age population group.

Equation of reduced renal function; CKD; High school students; Prevalence; Kinshasa