University Of Tasmania
141066 - chronic kidney disease in tasmania.pdf (885.42 kB)

Chronic kidney disease in Tasmania: Protocol for a data linkage study

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Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant and growing health burden globally. Tasmania has the highest state prevalence for non-Indigenous Australians and it has consistently had the lowest incidence and prevalence of dialysis in Australia.

Objective: To examine the gap between the high community prevalence of CKD in Tasmania and the low use of dialysis.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study using linked data from 5 health and 2 pathology data sets from the island state of Tasmania, Australia. The study population consists of any person (all ages including children) who had a blood measurement of creatinine with the included pathology providers between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2017. This study population (N=460,737) includes within it a CKD cohort, which was detected via pathology or documentation of kidney replacement therapy (KRT; dialysis or kidney transplant). Kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR]) was calculated using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) formula. Individuals with 2 measures of eGFR<60 mL/min/1.73 m2, at least 90 days apart, were identified as having CKD and were included in the CKD cohort. Individuals treated with dialysis or transplant were identified from the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry.

Results: The study population consisted of 460,737 people (n=245,573 [53.30%] female, mean age 47.4 years) who were Tasmanian residents aged 18 years and older and were followed for a median of 7.8 years. During the later 5 years of the study period, 86.79% (355,622/409,729) of Tasmanian adults were represented. The CKD cohort consisted of 56,438 people (ie, 12.25% of the study population; 53.87% (30,405/56,438) female, mean age 69.9 years) followed for a median of 10.4 years with 56,039 detected via eGFR and 399 people detected via documentation of KRT. Approximately half (227,433/460,737, 49.36%) of the study population and the majority of the CKD cohort (41,448/56,438, 73.44%) had an admission episode. Of the 55,366 deaths recorded in the study population, 45.10% (24,970/55,366) had CKD.

Conclusions: Whole-of-population approaches to examine CKD in the community can be achieved by data linkage. Over this 14-year period, CKD affected 12.25% (56,438/460,737) of Tasmanian adult residents and was present in 45.10% (24,970/55,366) of deaths.


Tasmanian Community Fund


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JMIR Research Protocols










Wicking Dementia Research Education Centre


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┬ęTimothy Saunder, Alex Kitsos, Jan Radford, Kim Jose, Charlotte McKercher, Rajesh Raj, Nadine Wiggins, Brian Stokes, Matthew D Jose. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols, 17.09.2020. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

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