Navigate Up

About Chronic Kidney Disease

Overview

Early and comprehensive treatment of kidney disease helps prevent complications and can delay progression. In general, chronic kidney disease (CKD) shows no symptoms. By the time symptoms appear, the damage is typically irreversible. The best strategy against the silent danger of CKD is prevention by identifying individual risks and correcting or managing modifiable risk factors. Screening for kidney disease at regular intervals provides early warning if kidney function begins to decline.

Health Factors

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Family history of kidney disease

Other Risk Factors

  • Lupus or other autoimmune disease
  • Infection
  • Urinary tract stones or other causes of obstruction
  • Recent history of acute kidney failure
  • Exposure to certain drugs, chemicals, or other environmental conditions
  • Advanced age

Demographic Factors

  • Ethnic minority status – non-Caucasian ethnicity, especially African American, Native American, Hispanic or Pacific Islander

Who Is At Risk?

More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and millions more are at risk. The leading risk factor for chronic kidney disease is diabetes, followed by high blood pressure. Together both disorders account for three-quarters of patients who develop end-stage kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplantation. However, a number of different conditions may lead to chronic kidney disease.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com