Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Nephrology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research article

Epidemiology and aetiology of dialysis-treated end-stage kidney disease in Libya

Wiam A Alashek13, Christopher W McIntyre123 and Maarten W Taal23*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Graduate Entry Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

2 Department of Renal Medicine, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Derby, UK

3 Royal Derby Hospital, Uttoxeter Road, Derby, DE22 3NE, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Nephrology 2012, 13:33  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-33

Published: 8 June 2012



The extent and the distribution of end stage kidney disease (ESKD) in Libya have not been reported despite provision of dialysis over 4 decades. This study aimed to develop the first comprehensive description of the epidemiology of dialysis-treated ESKD in Libya.


Structured demographic and clinical data were obtained regarding all adult patients treated at all maintenance dialysis facilities (n=39) in Libya from May to September 2009. Subsequently data were collected prospectively on all new patients who started dialysis from September 2009 to August 2010. Population estimates were obtained from the Libyan national statistics department. The age and gender breakdown of the population in each region was obtained from mid-2009 population estimates based on 2006 census data.


The prevalence of dialysis-treated ESKD was 624 per million population (pmp). 85% of prevalent patients were aged <65 years and 58% were male. The prevalence of ESKD varied considerably with age with a peak at 55–64 years (2475 pmp for males; 2197 pmp for females). The annual incidence rate was 282 pmp with some regional variation and a substantially higher rate in the South (617 pmp). The most common cause of ESKD among prevalent and incident patients was diabetes. Other important causes were glomerulonephritis, hypertensive nephropathy and congenital or hereditary diseases.


Libya has a relatively high prevalence and incidence of dialysis-treated ESKD. As the country prepares to redevelop its healthcare system it is hoped that these data will guide strategies for the prevention of CKD and planning for the provision of renal replacement therapy.

Dialysis; Epidemiology; ESKD; Incidence; Libya; Prevalence