Chronic Kidney Disease (cont.)
Chronic Kidney Disease Causes
Although chronic kidney disease sometimes results from primary diseases of the kidneys themselves, the major causes are diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus cause a condition called diabetic nephropathy, which is the leading cause of kidney disease in the United States.
- High blood pressure (hypertension), if not controlled, can damage the kidneys over time.
- Glomerulonephritis is the inflammation and damage of the filtration system of the kidneys, which can cause kidney failure. Postinfectious conditions and lupus are among the many causes of glomerulonephritis.
- Polycystic kidney disease is a hereditary cause of chronic kidney disease wherein both kidneys have multiple cysts.
- Use of analgesics such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) regularly over long durations of time can cause analgesic nephropathy, another cause of kidney disease. Certain other medications can also damage the kidneys.
- Clogging and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) leading to the kidneys causes a condition called ischemic nephropathy, which is another cause of progressive kidney damage.
- Obstruction of the flow of urine by stones, an enlarged prostate, strictures (narrowings), or cancers may also cause kidney disease.
- Other causes of chronic kidney disease include HIV infection, sickle cell disease, heroin abuse, amyloidosis, kidney stones, chronic kidney infections, and certain cancers.
If one has any of the following conditions, they are at higher-than-normal risk of developing chronic kidney disease. One's kidney function may need to be monitored regularly.
How Common Is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
- Chronic kidney disease is a growing health problem in the United States. Approximately 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease. The United States Renal Data Systems 2011 Annual Data Report determined that 15.1% of all adults above the age of 20 years have chronic kidney disease.
- It is estimated that more than 10% of adults in the United States - more than 20 million people - may have CKD at varying levels of seriousness.
- The number of transplants per year is from 15,000 to 18,000.
- Kidney disease is more common among Hispanic, African American, Asian or Pacific Islander, and Native American people.
- Older age, female gender, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease are associated with a higher incidence of chronic kidney disease.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/28/2015
Pranay Kathuria, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF
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