Inequalities in end-stage renal disease: Underprivileged and ethnic minority members are at higher risk

Rachel Wilf-Miron, Vicki Myers, Mor Saban, Ilya Novikov, Lizie Kimron, Arnona Ziv, Ofra Kalter-Leibovici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is higher in Israel than the European average. Socio-economic differences in ESRD have been reported globally, but many countries lack a national register. Using national data, we assessed which socio-demographic factors are associated with 5-year incidence of ESRD in Israel, where there is universal access to renal replacement therapy (RRT). Methods: Data on all incident ESRD cases aged ?20 years receiving chronic RRT between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2018 (N = 7883) were collected from Israel's National Dialysis and Renal Transplant Register. Individual-level data on ESRD cases requiring RRT included residential area, age, gender, ethnicity (Jewish or Arab) and ESRD cause (diabetes, other, unknown/missing). Area-level data included age and sex distribution, socio-economic status (SES) and proportion of Arab population. The associations between individual-level socio-demographic characteristics and ESRD cause were tested in bivariate comparisons. The risk of developing ESRD during the study period (from all and specific causes) was estimated using multiple Poisson regression models with negative binomial distribution, using four parameters, namely sex, ethnicity, SES category and age strata, based on area-level distribution of these parameters, and with the whole population (aged ?20 years) as the denominator. Results: A socio-economic gradient was seen for ESRD from all causes, more marked for diabetic aetiology [rate ratio (RR)=0.45, 95% CI: 0.39-0.52 highest vs lowest SES categories] than from other (RR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.55-0.75) or unknown cause (RR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0. 62-0.99). Based on population area-level data, predominantly Arab neighbourhoods showed higher risk for ESRD requiring RRT for all causes, with the strongest association for diabetes (RR = 1.69, 95% CI: 1.53-1.86) adjusted for SES, age and sex. Conclusions: A strong socio-economic gradient was demonstrated for ESRD requiring RRT. Arab ethnicity was associated with higher risk for ESRD, especially due to diabetes. Our findings suggest the need for allocation of health resources according to needs and culturally appropriate interventions for improving control of modifiable risk factors for chronic renal failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1578
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • End-stage renal disease
  • diabetes
  • dialysis
  • ethnicity
  • socio-economic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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