The incidence of and risk factors for late presentation of childhood chronic kidney disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Lucy Plumb*, Emily Boother, Fergus J Caskey, Manish Sinha, Yoav Ben-Shlomo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)


Background When detected early, inexpensive measures can slow chronic kidney disease progression to kidney failure which, for children, confers significant morbidity and impacts growth and development. Our objective was to determine the incidence of late presentation of childhood chronic kidney disease and its associated risk factors. Methods We searched MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and CINAHL, grey literature and registry websites for observational data describing children <21 years presenting to nephrology services, with reference to late presentation (or synonyms thereof). Independent second review of eligibility, data extraction, and risk of bias was undertaken. Meta-analysis was used to generate pooled proportions for late presentation by definition and investigate risk factors. Meta-regression was undertaken to explore heterogeneity. Results Forty-five sources containing data from 30 countries were included, comprising 19,339 children. Most studies (37, n = 15,772) described children first presenting in kidney failure as a proportion of the chronic kidney disease population (mean proportion 0.43, 95% CI 0.34–0.54). Using this definition, the median incidence was 2.1 (IQR 0.9–3.9) per million age-related population. Risk associations included non-congenital disease and older age. Studies of hospitalised patients, or from low- or middle-income countries, that had older study populations than high-income countries, had higher proportions of late presentation. Conclusions Late presentation is a global problem among children with chronic kidney disease, with higher proportions seen in studies of hospitalised children or from low/middle-income countries. Children presenting late are older and more likely to have non-congenital kidney disease than timely presenting children. A consensus definition is important to further our understanding and local populations should identify modifiable barriers beyond age and disease to improve access to care.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0244709
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020


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