Content sponsored and funded by AstraZeneca

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious, progressive condition affecting 840 million people across the globe, with more than nine million who have progressed to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.1,2 With limited treatment options, people living with CKD are in urgent need of new solutions to slow disease progression and treat potentially life-threatening complications, such as anemia and hyperkalemia.3-5

As a nephrologist, I have learned first-hand about the many challenges patients with CKD face trying to manage their condition. CKD has wide-reaching implications to patients’ physical and mental health, in addition to their everyday lifestyles. On top of trying to navigate a new normal, patients are often given a wealth of information about their condition that can become overwhelming and difficult to process.  

In order to help reduce the burden on patients with CKD, we as physicians need to learn more about the full burden of CKD. Through the CKD Personal Impact Index – a global analysis of the impact of CKD on those living with the condition – we can uncover new insights into the specific challenges patients are facing on a day-to-day basis.

Investigating the realities of living with CKD

Developed by AstraZeneca, the CKD Personal Impact Index, a global analysis of the impact of CKD on people living with this condition, is designed to better understand and measure the day-to-day impact of the disease and its complications beyond standard Quality of Life analyses.6

Data were collected through a global social media landscape assessment, including blogs and social networks, in addition to in-depth telephone interviews and a quantitative survey. With participants from China, Brazil, Sweden, the US, and the UK, the CKD Personal Impact Index evaluated both global and regional perspectives and revealed critical issues and unmet patient needs.6

The results are both revealing and startling – CKD can have a profound impact on a patient’s personal life, including social, economic and physical effects.6 The study gleaned new insights about everyday challenges faced by these patients and shed light on unique perspectives that only a comprehensive analysis like this could provide.

Nearly half of patients living with CKD said their daily activities are highly impacted.6 Many patients are simultaneously coping with fatigue while constantly balancing time between meal planning, maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, regular blood testing, doctor’s appointments, work, family life and more.6 If that was not enough, patients are also struggling with the emotional burden of knowing the disease they are living with is progressive and currently incurable.6

“It’s a huge lifestyle change for me and my wife isn’t taking it very well. I’m a chef by trade and we love to eat… I love life more than I love food though.”

Quote from a CKD patient in the CKD Personal Impact Index

“I am quite scared of what the future will hold. Angry, but can’t tell you why I am really angry. Fear of what it is going to be like in the future and the impact on my husband and child.”

Quote from a CKD patient in the CKD Personal Impact Index

Applying insights to address unmet patient needs

CKD is an under-recognized public health problem and the findings from the CKD Personal Impact Index demonstrate its potentially significant effect on the lives of both patients and their loved ones.1 Working at AstraZeneca – and being part of a worldwide community of healthcare professionals – I believe it is critical that we do more to help improve the lives of patients with CKD. We urgently need to recognize the global burden of CKD and its complications, and push for early intervention and disease management with the aim of ensuring better outcomes for patients living with this condition.

AstraZeneca is leading an evolution in the treatment of CKD with the goal of helping patients live longer, healthier lives. We are following the latest science to develop innovative solutions to address treatment gaps and unmet patient needs. However, we are determined to push ourselves even further and plan to leverage insights from the CKD Personal Impact Index to develop tangible and realistic solutions for patients.

Please join me in helping to give a voice to an underserved patient population by raising awareness of the impact of CKD and working to improve communication between patients, clinicians, communities and policymakers.

CKD Key Facts
·       840 million people are living with CKD worldwide1
·       More than 9 million people living with CKD have progressed to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant2
·       In 2017, approximately 35.8 million of disability-adjusted life-year were lost globally due to disability caused by CKD7 
·       By 2040, CKD is expected to become the world’s 5th leading cause of mortality8
·       As no cure currently exists, there is a critical need for early detection and improved treatment options3,4

Disclaimer: The objective of CKD Personal Impact Index is to highlight the day to day and overall quality of life impact of living with CKD for patients. Patients with only mildly impaired renal function may actually be asymptomatic with no immediate impact on their day to day living and overall quality of life. Therefore, this Index has limitations because it does not examine how or at what stage of CKD the impact occurs in robust detail but instead examines quality of life impacts arising for all patients, using an aggregated analysis of all patients who participated in the research. The findings contained within the Index are developed solely based on several bodies of data that represent patient reported outcomes.


  1. Jager KJ et al. A Single Number for Advocacy and Communication—Worldwide More than 850 Million Individuals Have Kidney Diseases. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2019;34(11):1803-5.
  2. Bikbov B et al. Global, regional, and national burden of chronic kidney disease, 1990–2017: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet. 2017;395(10225):709–33.
  3. National Health Service. Treatment: Chronic kidney disease; 2019/08/29 [cited 30 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:
  4. Clinical Practice Guidelines and Clinical Practice Recommendations for Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease. Am J Kidney Dis. 2006;47(5 Suppl 3):S1-146.
  5. National Kidney Foundation. Clinical Update on Hyperkalemia: A chronic Risk for CKD Patients and a Potential Barrier to Recommended CKD Treatment. New York: National Kidney Foundation; 2014 [cited 30 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:
  6. Data on file, REF-87984, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.
  7. Kyu HH et al. Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 359 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE) for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet. 2017;392(10159):1859–922.
  8. Foreman K.J. et al. Forecasting life expectancy, years of life lost, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 250 causes of death: reference and alternative scenarios for 2016–40 for 195 countries and territories. Lancet. 2018;392(10159):2052-2090.

US-49446 Last Updated 1/21