CDC: Kidney Disease Up 16% in U.S.

Chronic Kidney Disease Most Common Among Those 60 and Older

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on March 01, 2007
From the WebMD Archives

March 1, 2007 -- Chronic kidney disease is rising in the U.S, especially among older adults and people with extra weight, diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure.

So says the CDC in its latest national estimate of chronic kidney disease cases.

Nearly 17% of U.S. adults 20 and older have the disease, the CDC reports.

That's a 16% increase from the government agency's previous estimate, which showed 14.5% of those 20 and older had chronic kidney disease in 1988-1994.

Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to work properly. Chronic kidney disease raises the risk of premature death and cuts quality of life. If untreated, it can lead to end-stage renal disease and require dialysis or kidney transplantation.

The data appear in the March 2 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the CDC.


Growing Problem

Chronic kidney disease is a "growing health problem in the United States," says the CDC.

Its new report is based on 12,785 civilians who took urine tests for national health studies conducted from 1999 to 2004. The tests looked for abnormal protein leakage in the urine, an indication of kidney damage.

Most participants who tested positive for kidney disease appeared to have the disease's earlier stages (stages 1, 2, and 3). Less than 1% had stage 4 or 5.

The CDC estimates for stage 1 and stage 2 chronic kidney disease aren't based on confirmed diagnoses, which would have required a follow-up urine test.

Age, Health, and Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease was particularly common among people 60 and older. Nearly 40% of participants in that age group had it.

That compares with about 12% of participants in their 40s and 50s; and roughly 8% of those in their 20s and 30s.

Many of those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease also had chronic kidney disease. Those conditions are risk factors for kidney disease.

Forty percent of the diabetic participants had chronic kidney disease.

So did 28% of those with heart disease and 24% of participants with high blood pressure.

Weight, Race, and Kidney Disease

Being overweight or obese increases the chance of developing chronic kidney disease. Nearly 15% of overweight participants had chronic kidney disease, and 20% of obese participants did.

Blacks and Mexican Americans were more likely than whites to have the disease, the CDC reports.

Of black participants, 20% had chronic kidney disease, as did 19% of the Mexican-American participants.

In comparison, 16% of white participants had the disease.