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J Epidemiol. 2015;25(4):275-80. doi: 10.2188/jea.JE20140074. Epub 2015 Mar 17.

Epidemiology of chronic kidney disease, with special emphasis on chronic kidney disease of uncertain etiology, in the north central region of Sri Lanka.

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Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University.



The aim of the study was to identify the epidemiology of chronic kidney disease of uncertain etiology in Sri Lanka.


A cross-sectional study was carried out by analyzing health statistics, and three cohort studies were conducted (n = 15 630, 3996, and 2809) to analyze the demographic information, age-specific prevalence, etiology, and stage of presentation. We screened 7604 individuals for chronic kidney disease of uncertain etiology.


The results showed that the male:female ratio was 2.4:1, the mean age of patients was 54.7 ± 8 years, 92% of the patients were farmers, and 93% consumed water from shallow dug wells. Familial occurrence was common (36%). The prevalence of chronic kidney disease in different age groups was 3% in those aged 30-40 years; 7% in those aged 41-50 years, 20% in those aged 51-60 years, and 29% in those older than 60 years. Chronic kidney disease of uncertain etiology was diagnosed in 70.2% of patients, while 15.7% and 9.6% were due to hypertension and diabetic mellitus, respectively. The majority of patients were stage 4 (40%) at first presentation, while 31.8% were stage 3 and 24.5% were stage 5. Stage 1 and 2 presentation accounted for only 3.4%.


Low prevalence of CKDU was noticed (1.5%) among those who consumed water from natural springs. Prevalence was highest among males, rice farming communities, and those presenting at later disease stages.

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