Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its associated high morbidity and mortality cause a significant economic burden and decreased quality of life in affected patients in Antigua, the rest of the Caribbean and globally. The causes of CKD in Antigua, morbidity and mortality factors affecting the sampled patients were evaluated with a view to formulating interventions to minimize the occurrence and the impact of these factors.
Objective: To determine the causes of CKD over a nine-year period and the causes of morbidity and mortality among patients with CKD at the two main hospitals in Antigua.
Methods: A retrospective review was done of the medical records of patients with CKD who were diagnosed between January 1, 2005 and December 1, 2013. Chronic kidney disease was defined as a glomerular filtration rate of less than 60 mL/minute/1.73 m2. The causes of CKD, the patients' admission diagnoses, the causes of death and laboratory investigations were evaluated.
Results: The documented causes of CKD in these patients were diabetes mellitus (51% of the patients), hypertension (26%), glomerulonephritis (5%) and lupus nephritis (4%). The causes of morbidity among the patients with CKD were myocardial infarction (5.1%), unstable angina (12.7%) and ischaemic stroke (12%). Contributing significantly to the patients' morbidity were catheter-associated sepsis (8.1%, p < 0.001) and lower respiratory tract infections (5.4%). The main factors contributing to the patients' mortality were myocardial infarction (16.7%) and catheter-associated sepsis (16.7%).
Conclusion: This study documented that the most common causes of CKD among the sampled patients in Antigua were diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Ischaemic heart disease and infections were the major causes of morbidity and mortality among the patients. Early recognition and aggressive management of CKD and its risk factors and complications are important in reducing the clinical and economic burden associated with CKD.