Chronic Kidney Disease

For most people, kidney damage occurs slowly over many years. Gradual loss of kidney function is called chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD is a "silent killer"; most often there are no visible signs of symptoms. Kidney disease generally gets worse if you don't take the right medicine.

Kidney disease increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Other serious consequences of untreated kidney disease include the need for dialysis or kidney transplant. If you are 65 years or older and your kidneys are so damaged that you require dialysis (called "end-stage" kidney disease), your chances of dying are 5 to 6 times greater than than others of your same age.

The most common risk factors for developing CKD are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Family history

While there is no cure for kidney disease, there are things you can do to prevent your kidneys from getting worse. Talk with your doctor about what you eat, your physical activity and the medications you take to help protect your kidney health.

Information Provided as Part of a UCSF Study:

Care For Your Kidneys

Study Investigator:

Veronica Yank, MD

[email protected]