Background

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide public health problem. It is estimated that approximately 11 percent of the U.S. adult population has CKD. CKD means that kidneys are damaged and cannot remove waste and excess water from the body as they should. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of CKD. Treatment may include lowering blood pressure, controlling blood glucose, and lowering blood cholesterol.

CKD can get worse over time and may lead to kidney failure. The only treatment options for kidney failure are dialysis or kidney transplantation. There are increasing incidence and prevalence of kidney failure treated by dialysis and transplantation in the United States. 

End-stage kidney disease (ESRD) is the complete or almost complete failure of the kidneys. Patients with ESRD need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. Over time, ESRD can cause other problems, such as bone disease, high blood pressure, nerve damage, and anemia.