Open Access Open Badges Research article

Dialysis for end stage renal disease financed through the Brazilian National Health System, 2000 to 2012

Lenildo de Moura12*, Isaías Valente Prestes1, Bruce Bartholow Duncan1, Fernando Saldanha Thome3 and Maria Inês Schmidt1

Author Affiliations

1 Post-Graduate Studies Program in Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

2 Technical Unit for Health risks, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, Pan-American Health Organization, Setor de Embaixadas Norte, Lote 19, CEP: 70.800-400 Brasília, DF, Brazil

3 School of Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Nephrology 2014, 15:111  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-15-111

Published: 9 July 2014



Chronic kidney disease has become a public health problem worldwide. Its terminal stage requires renal replacement therapy – dialysis or transplantation – for the maintenance of life, resulting in high economic and social costs. Though the number of patients with end-stage renal disease treated by dialysis in Brazil is among the highest in the world, current estimates of incidence and prevalence are imprecise. Our aim is to describe incidence and prevalence trends and the epidemiologic profile of end-stage renal disease patients receiving publically-financed dialysis in Brazil between 2000 and 2012.


We internally linked records of the High Complexity Procedure Authorization/Renal Replacement Therapy (APAC/TRS) system so as to permit analyses of incidence and prevalence of dialysis over the period 2000-2012. We characterized temporal variations in the incidence and prevalence using Joinpoint regression.


Over the period, 280,667 patients received publically-financed dialysis, 57.2% of these being male. The underlying disease causes listed were hypertension (20.8%), diabetes (12.0%) and glomerulonephritis (7.7%); for 42.3%, no specific cause was recorded. Hemodialysis was the therapeutic modality in 90.1%. Over this period, prevalence increased 47%, rising 3.6% (95% CI 3.2% - 4.0%)/year. Incidence increased 20%, or 1.8% (1.1% – 2.5%)/year. Incidence increased in both sexes, in all regions of the country and particularly in older age groups.


Incidence and prevalence of end-stage renal disease receiving publically-financed dialysis treatment has increased notably. The linkage approach developed will permit continuous future monitoring of these indicators.

End-stage renal disease; Prevalence; Incidence; Ethnicity; Dialysis