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Renal health in the United Kingdom (UK) - Statistics & Facts

Kidneys are important to human health as they filter waste products out of the blood circulation. When a person’s kidneys are not operating properly, renal replacement therapy (RRT) is required and eventually a transplant will be needed. In 2019, it was estimated that there were over 28 thousand kidney transplants in Europe. While in the United Kingdom, approximately 68.1 thousand patients were receiving RRT as of 2019, representing a rate of around 1,209 patients per million population in the UK.

In England, there were around three thousand individuals on the kidney transplant list as of March 2021. However, under 1.5 thousand kidney transplants were carried out in England in 2020/21. The primary diagnosis in 17 percent of kidney transplant recipients in the UK in 2019 was diabetes, as the inability for blood sugar to be controlled can damage the kidneys. In the UK, the survival rate is very high for a patient after receiving a kidney. Since 2005, individuals who received a kidney from a living donor had a 99 percent survival rate one year after the transplant.

There were approximately 9.4 thousand new cases of kidney cancer diagnosed in England in 2019, while in the same year 1.1 thousand cases were diagnosed in Scotland. The mortality to incidence ratio for kidney cancer in England was 0.36 for men and 0.37 for women. This means that 36 and 37 percent of men and women respectively who were diagnosed with kidney cancer died as a result of the disease. In Scotland the mortality rate from kidney cancer was higher among men compared to women. The mortality rate for men was 9.1 deaths per 100,000 population, whereas 5.5 women per 100,000 died from kidney cancer.

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