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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Chronic kidney diseases in mixed ancestry south African populations: prevalence, determinants and concordance between kidney function estimators

Tandi E Matsha1, Yandiswa Y Yako1, Megan A Rensburg2, Mogamat S Hassan3, Andre P Kengne4 and Rajiv T Erasmus2*

  • * Corresponding author: Rajiv T Erasmus

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Wellness Science, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa

2 Division of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) and University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa

3 Department of Nursing and Radiography, Faculty of Health and Wellness Science, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa

4 NCRP for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

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BMC Nephrology 2013, 14:75  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-75

Published: 2 April 2013



Population-based data on the burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in sub-Saharan Africa is still very limited. We assessed the prevalence and determinants of CKD, and evaluated the concordance of commonly advocated estimators of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in a mixed ancestry population from South Africa.


Participants were a population-based sample of adults selected from the Bellville-South community in the metropolitan city of Cape Town. eGFR was based on the Cockroft-Gault (CG), Modification of Diet in Kidney Disease (MDRD) and CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equations (with and without adjustment for ethnicity). Kidney function staging used the Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative (KDOQI) classification. Logistic regressions and kappa statistic were used to investigate determinants of CKD and assess the agreement between different estimators.


The crude prevalence of CKD stage 3–5 was 14.8% for Cockcroft-Gault, 7.6% and 23.9% respectively for the MDRD with and without ethnicity correction, and 7.4% and 17.3% for the CKD-EPI equations with and without ethnicity correction. The highest agreement between GFR estimators was between MDRD and CKD-EPI equations, both with ethnicity correction, Kappa 0.91 (95% CI: 0.86-0.95), correlation coefficient 0.95 (95% CI: 0.94-0.96). In multivariable logistic regression models, sex, age and known hypertension were consistently associated with CKD stage 3–5 across the 5 estimators.


The prevalence of CKD stages greater than 3 is the highest reported in Africa. This study provides evidence for support of the CKD-EPI equation for eGFR reporting and CKD classification.

CKD-EPI eGFR; Cockroft-Gault eGFR; MDRD eGFR; Prevalence; South Africa