Chronic renal failure epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aarti Narayan, M.B.B.S [2]


The incidence and prevalence of chronic renal failure varies enormously depending on the level of affluence of the country. Developed countries have a higher incident rate of treated end-stage renal failure, whereas the emerging countries have very low incident rates. There are currently about one million patients undergoing dialysis worldwide, with an incidence of 0.25 million patients each year.

Epidemiology of CKD in United States

  • In 2003, the Third National Health Survey reported a prevalence of CKD in the general population (age 20 or older) of 11% (19.2 million).
  • When divided by CKD stage[1]
    • 3.3% of participants had stage 1
    • 3.0% had stage 2
    • 4.3% had stage 3
    • 0.2% had stage 4
    • 0.2% had stage 5
    • ESRD.
  • The study also showed that beyond the classical risk factors notably diabetes and hypertension, age was a separate correlate with CKD prevalence with 11% of people older than 65 years of age having stage 3 or worse CKD in the absence of both diabetes and hypertension.
  • Overall, 26% of the general population above 65 years of age has some form of kidney disease manifested by an eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2. Ethnicity was found to be related to CKD and ESRD prevalence.
  • ESRD was slightly more prevalent in non-Hispanic blacks than in non-Hispanic whites.
  • In contrast, less severe stages of CKD were more common among whites, and least common among Mexican Americans.[1]

Epidemiology of CKD worldwide

  • Worldwide, CKD has been on rise especially over the past decade.
  • In developed countries, the rise in incidence is expected to continue at an annual rate of around 5-8%.
  • What is thought to play a role in the continued increase in incidence is the aging of the general population and increase in the incidence of type II diabetes.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Coresh J, Astor BC, Greene T, Eknoyan G, Levey AS (2003). "Prevalence of chronic kidney disease and decreased kidney function in the adult US population: Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey". Am J Kidney Dis. 41 (1): 1–12. doi:10.1053/ajkd.2003.50007. PMID 12500213.

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