What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Updated: Jul 21, 2021
  • Author: Pradeep Arora, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD)—or chronic renal failure (CRF), as it was historically termed—is a term that encompasses all degrees of decreased kidney function, from damaged–at risk through mild, moderate, and severe chronic kidney failure. CKD is a worldwide public health problem. In the United States, there is a rising incidence and prevalence of kidney failure, with poor outcomes and high cost (see Epidemiology).

CKD is more prevalent in the elderly population. However, while younger patients with CKD typically experience progressive loss of kidney function, 30% of patients over 65 years of age with CKD have stable disease. [1]

CKD is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States.

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