4364.0.55.005 - Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Chronic Diseases, 2011-12  
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Contents >> Chronic kidney disease >> Chronic kidney disease stages


Chronic kidney disease has a number of stages, ranging in severity from Stage 1 to Stage 5, with the early stages often showing no symptoms. An individual's kidney function can improve or regress during the early stages of the disease but once Stages 4 and 5 are reached, also known as end stage kidney disease, kidney function is unlikely to improve. A person with end stage kidney disease is generally reliant on kidney replacement therapy in the form of dialysis or kidney transplant.

    Data source and definitions

    Chronic kidney disease stages were determined by combining the participants' estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) results with their albumin creatinine ratio (ACR) results. The different stages were defined as follows:
    • No indicators of chronic kidney disease - eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m and no presence of albuminuria
    • Stage 1 - eGFR ≥90 mL/min/1.73 m & albuminuria
    • Stage 2 - eGFR 60–89 mL/min/1.73 m & albuminuria
    • Stage 3a - eGFR 45–59 mL/min/1.73 m
    • Stage 3b - eGFR 30–44 mL/min/1.73 m
    • Stage 4–5 - eGFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m

In 2011–12, around 1.7 million people (10.0%) aged 18 years and over had indicators of chronic kidney disease, with similar rates for men (10.3%) and women (9.8%). Around 4% of all adults were in Stage 1, 2.5% were in Stage 2 and less than 1% were in Stages 4–5.

Among those who had indicators of chronic kidney disease in the National Health Measures Survey (NHMS), only 6.1% self-reported having the condition. However, this is not unexpected as unlike other tests for chronic disease, results for albuminuria or abnormal eGFR alone cannot provide a diagnosis for kidney disease and could indicate the presence of an acute kidney condition or infection instead. Kidney disease can only be confirmed if albuminuria or eGFR of less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m are persistent for at least three months.1 The majority (65.3%) of people with indicators of chronic kidney disease who self-reported the condition had test results that indicated they were in Stages 3 to 5.

Like the patterns seen for the individual kidney disease biomarkers, the prevalence of chronic kidney disease markedly increased with age, with only 5.5% of people aged under 55 years having indicators of the disease compared with 42.2% of people aged 75 years and over.

Graph Image for Persons aged 18 years and over - Proportion with indicators of chronic kidney disease, 2011-12

For more information on chronic kidney disease stages, see Tables 6 and 15 on the Downloads page of this publication.


1 Kidney Health Australia, Jun 2013, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Management in General Practice. 2nd Edition 2012 <http://www.kidney.org.au//LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=vfDcA4sEUMs%3d&tabid=635&mid=1584>, Last accessed 02/07/2013. Back to top

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