Progression of Kidney Disease in Indigenous Australians: The eGFR Follow-up Study

Louise J. Maple-Brown, Jaquelyne T. Hughes, Rebecca Ritte, Federica Barzi, Wendy E. Hoy, Paul D. Lawton, Graham R. D. Jones, Elizabeth Death, Alison Simmonds, Ashim K. Sinha, Sajiv Cherian, Mark A. B. Thomas, Robyn McDermott, Alex D. H. Brown, Kerin O’Dea, George Jerums, Alan Cass, Richard J. Macisaac

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objectives Indigenous Australians experience a heavy burden of CKD. To address this burden, the eGFR Follow-Up Study recruited and followed an Indigenous Australian cohort from regions of Australia with the greatest ESRD burden. We sought to better understand factors contributing to the progression of kidney disease. Specific objectives were to assess rates of progression of eGFR in Indigenous Australians with and without CKD and identify factors associated with a decline in eGFR.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements This observational longitudinal study of Indigenous Australian adults was conducted in >20 sites. The baseline cohort was recruited from community and primary care clinic sites across five strata of health, diabetes status, and kidney function. Participants were then invited to follow up at 2–4 years; if unavailable, vital status, progression to RRT, and serum creatinine were obtained from medical records. Primary outcomes were annual eGFR change and combined renal outcome (first of ≥30% eGFR decline with follow-up eGFR<60 ml/min per 1.73 m2, progression to RRT, or renal death).

Results Participants (n=550) were followed for a median of 3.0 years. Baseline and follow-up eGFR (geometric mean [95% confidence interval], 83.9 (80.7 to 87.3) and 70.1 (65.9 to 74.5) ml/min per 1.73 m2, respectively. Overall mean annual eGFR change was -3.1 (-3.6 to -2.5) ml/min per 1.73 m2. Stratified by baseline eGFR (≥90, 60–89, <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2), annual eGFR changes were -3.0 (-3.6 to -2.4), -1.9 (-3.3 to -0.5), and -5.0 (-6.5 to -3.6) ml/min per 1.73 m2. Across baseline eGFR categories, annual eGFR decline was greatest among adults with baseline albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) >265 mg/g (30 mg/mmol). Baseline determinants of the combined renal outcome (experienced by 66 participants) were higher urine ACR, diabetes, lower measured GFR, and higher C-reactive protein.

Conclusions The observed eGFR decline was three times higher than described in nonindigenous populations. ACR was confirmed as a powerful predictor for eGFR decline across diverse geographic regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1004
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Albuminuria
  • Australia
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • eGFR
  • End stage kidney disease
  • Humans
  • Indigenous Australian
  • Kidney failure, chronic
  • Kidney function tests
  • Longitudinal studies


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