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ESRD among immigrants to Ontario, Canada: a population-based study


Background — The epidemiology of ESRD requiring maintenance dialysis (ESRD-D) in large, diverse immigrant populations is unclear.

Methods — We estimated ESRD-D prevalence and incidence among immigrants in Ontario, Canada. Adults residing in Ontario in 2014 were categorized as long-term Canadian residents or immigrants according to administrative health and immigration datasets. We determined ESRD-D prevalence among these adults and calculated age-adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) comparing immigrants to long-term residents. Among those who immigrated to Ontario between 1991 and 2012, age-adjusted ESRD-D incidence was calculated by world region and country of birth, with immigrants from Western nations as the referent group.

Results — Among 1,902,394 immigrants and 8,860,283 long-term residents, 1700 (0.09%) and 8909 (0.10%), respectively, presented with ESRD-D. Age-adjusted ESRD-D prevalence was higher among immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa (PR, 2.17; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.84 to 2.57), Latin America and the Caribbean (PR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.90 to 2.34), South Asia (PR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.32 to 1.59), and East Asia and the Pacific (PR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.22 to 1.46). Immigrants from Somalia (PR, 4.18; 95% CI, 3.11 to 5.61), Trinidad and Tobago (PR, 2.88; 95% CI, 2.23 to 3.73), Jamaica (PR, 2.88; 95% CI, 2.40 to 3.44), Sudan (PR, 2.84; 95% CI, 1.53 to 5.27), and Guyana (PR, 2.69; 95% CI, 2.19 to 3.29) had the highest age-adjusted ESRD-D PRs relative to long-term residents. Immigrants from these countries also exhibited higher age-adjusted ESKD-D incidence relative to Western Nations immigrants.

Conclusions — Among immigrants in Canada, those from sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean have the highest ESRD-D risk. Tailored kidney-protective interventions should be developed for these susceptible populations.



Perl J, McArthur E, Tan VS, Nash DM, Garg AX, Harel Z, Li AH, Sood MM, Ray JG, Wald R. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018; 29(7):1948-59. Epub 2018 May 2.

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