This review of 2,586 renal biopsies over the past 3 decades in Singapore documents the changing pattern of glomerulonephritis (GN) from that of a third world country to that of a developed nation. In the 1st decade, mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis was the most common form of primary GN, just as it was in the surrounding Asian countries. In the 2nd decade, the prevalence of mesangial proliferative GN decreased with a rise in membranous, GN which is also seen in China and Thailand. In the 3rd decade, there was a dramatic increase in focal sclerosing glomerulosclerosis. This increase reflects aging and obesity in keeping with more developed countries like Australia, India, Thailand and the United States of America. IgA nephritis remains the most common GN. Apart from the geographical influence, other socioeconomic factors play a significant role in the evolution of the renal biopsy pattern. Mesangial proliferative GN remains prevalent in many Asian countries, but in Singapore the prevalence is decreasing just as it is in Japan, Korea and Malaysia. Worldwide, the prevalence of focal sclerosing glomerulosclerosis continues to increase in many countries.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.