Risk factors for chronic kidney disease: an update
Chronic kidney disease has become a serious public health issue. There are currently over 1.4 million patients receiving renal replacement therapy worldwide. One way to reduce the economic burden of chronic kidney disease would be early intervention. In order to achieve this, we should be able to identify individuals with increased risk of renal disease. An individual-s genetic and phenotypic make-up puts him/her at risk for kidney disease. Factors such as race, gender, age, and family history are highly important. For instance, being of African-American decent, older age, low birth weight and family history of kidney disease are considered to be strong risk factors for chronic kidney disease. Moreover, smoking, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus can also lead to kidney disease. An uncontrolled diabetic and/or hypertensive patient can easily and quickly progress to an end-stage kidney disease patient. Exposure to heavy metals, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and the use of analgesic medications also constitute risks. Experiencing acute kidney injury, a history of cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia, metabolic syndrome, hepatitis C virus, HIV infection, and malignancy are further risk factors. Determination of serum creatinine levels and urinalysis in patients with chronic kidney disease risk will usually be sufficient for initial screening.