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Chronic Kidney Disease: Continuum and Markers
The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) continues to rise globally, currently estimated at 10 to 16% of the world’s population.1 Chronic kidney disease is defined as longstanding (greater than three months) damage to kidney structure or function that poses a threat to well‐being.2 Kidney damage may be caused by physical injury, the presence of disease, or environmental insult. Diabetes, hypertension and glomerulonephritis (inflammation) are the leading causes of CKD. Alarmingly, the growing number of people with diabetes worldwide will place even more individuals at risk for developing the disease.2 Left untreated, complications may affect the proper functioning of all organ systems, increasing the likelihood for progressive kidney failure, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and premature mortality. Kidney failure, or end‐stage renal disease (ESRD), is characterized by a severe decline in the filtering capacity of kidneys, resulting in the accumulation of wastes to toxic levels in blood and the need for kidney transplantation or dialysis.2
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- How is kidney function measured?
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1 United States Renal Data System. 2016 Annual Data Report: Epidemiology of Kidney Disease in the United States. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD, 2016.
2 Levin A, Stevens PE, Co‐chairs. Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes Work Group. KDIGO 2012 Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease. Kidney Int Suppl. 2013.