Women and renal replacement therapy in Europe: lower incidence, equal access to transplantation, longer survival than men
Oxford University Press -- Clinical Kidney Journal
DOI 10.1093/ckj/sfx154
  1. access to health care
  2. chronic kidney disease
  3. dialysis inequality
  4. epidemiology
  5. gender
  6. mortality
  7. public heath
  8. transplantation


In 2018, World Kidney Day (WKD) and International Women’s Day coincide. The WKD editorial focuses on women’s kidney health. The European Renal Association–European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA) Registry Annual Report 2015 summary provides an excellent snapshot of renal replacement therapy (RRT) epidemiology and women in Europe. The WKD editorial reports a lower incidence of RRT in women in major registries and potential limitations to women’s access to transplantation. What is the situation in Europe? In Europe, the incidence of RRT is also lower in women: 38% of incident RRT patients are women. Does it represent milder chronic kidney disease (CKD) in women or barriers to RRT access? The question arises from the higher prevalence of CKD Stages G3–G5 in women than in men. However, in some European countries, such as Spain, non-dialysis CKD Stages G4–G5 is less frequent in women than in men, recapitulating the difference in RRT incidence. In the ERA-EDTA Registry, the incidence of transplantation as a first modality on Day 1 was slightly higher for women and survival on RRT was similar for women and men in the first 3 months, but an intergender gap favouring women increased as RRT vintage increased. However, women on RRT are worse off regarding survival when compared with women in the general population than men on RRT compared with men in the general population. In conclusion, the ERA-EDTA Registry Annual Report 2015 and European epidemiology data suggest a lower incidence of end-stage kidney disease in women, no gender differences in access to transplantation and better RRT survival in women.