August 19, 2013

Risk factors for kidney disease

Risk factors for kidney disease are factors that do not seem to be a direct cause of the disease, but seem to be associated in some way. Having a risk factor for kidney disease makes the chances of getting a condition higher but does not always lead to kidney disease. Also, the absence of any risk factors does not necessarily protect you against getting kidney disease.

Factors that may increase your risk of chronic kidney failure include:

 Diabetes
 High blood pressure (hypertension)
 Heart disease
 Smoking
 Obesity
 High cholesterol
 African-American, American Indian or Asian-American race
 A family history of kidney disease
 Age 65 or older
 Kidney stones
 Drug Abuse

Family history is a significant risk factor. For example a patient with HIV disease whose parents or relatives suffer from renal failure or are on dialysis have much higher risk for renal failure than the general population without the same family history. In addition, a family history of polycystic kidney disease, hepatitis B or C, HIV, increases the risk as well.

Proteinuria of any origin increases the chances of renal failure as well as the risks for cardiovascular disease. Proteinuria means the presence of an excess of serum proteins in the urine. The protein in the urine often causes the urine to become foamy. Since serum proteins are readily reabsorbed from urine, the presence of excess protein indicates either an insufficiency of absorption or impaired filtration by the kidneys. The most common cause of proteinuria is diabetes.

According to a study by the American Journal of Medicine, race as well as lower social economic level are increased factors for kidney disease. African Americans in particular have been found to be genetically linked to renal failure and its complications. African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Pacific Islander Americans are three times more likely to suffer from kidney failure than Americans of European descent. Studies have also shown that the African American population fares worse after renal transplantation and have a higher mortality level once on dialysis.

Posted in: Risk Factors for Kidney Disease?