Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a type of kidney disease in which a gradual loss of kidney function occurs over a period of months to years. Initially generally no symptoms are seen, but later symptoms may include leg swelling, feeling tired, vomiting, loss of appetite, and confusion. Complications can relate to hormonal dysfunction of the kidneys and include (in chronological order) high blood pressure (often related to activation of the renin–angiotensin system system), bone disease, and anemia. Additionally CKD patients have markedly increased cardiovascular complications with increased risks of death and hospitalization.
Causes of chronic kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, glomerulonephritis, and polycystic kidney disease. Risk factors include a family history of chronic kidney disease. Diagnosis is by blood tests to measure the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and a urine test to measure albumin. Ultrasound or kidney biopsy may be performed to determine the underlying cause. Several severity-based staging systems are in use.
Screening at-risk people is recommended. Initial treatments may include medications to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) or angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARBs) are generally first-line agents for blood pressure control, as they slow progression of the kidney disease and the risk of heart disease. Loop diuretics may be used to control edema and, if needed, to further lower blood pressure. NSAIDs should be avoided. Other recommended measures include staying active, and certain dietary changes such as a low-salt diet and the right amount of protein. Treatments for anemia and bone disease may also be required. Severe disease requires hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or a kidney transplant for survival.
Chronic kidney disease affected 753 million people globally in 2016 - 417 million females and 336 million males. In 2015, it caused 1.2 million deaths, up from 409,000 in 1990. The causes that contribute to the greatest number of deaths are high blood pressure at 550,000, followed by diabetes at 418,000, and glomerulonephritis at 238,000.