Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing health care concern and public health burden in developed and developing countries. In many countries, CKD prevalence is already high and increasing (see Chapter 1). The natural history of CKD is initially kidney damage, which, if progressive, can lead to a decline in kidney function and ultimately, to kidney failure. CKD is also associated with complications, which include cardiovascular in particular, as well as complications of decreased kidney function, which in their most severe form is known as the uraemic syndrome. There are treatments for each stage of CKD, and therefore, timely detection of CKD and initiation of treatments are important to prevent or slow progression as well as prevent further complications. In this chapter, we review the definition and classification for CKD, its natural history, and risk factors for development, progression, and complications of the disease. Recently, an increased interest has been focused on emerging subsets of the population with a high prevalence of CKD, specifically the elderly. The presence of CKD complicates the management of chronic comorbid diseases, which are also highly prevalent in the elderly. Attention has also been directed towards ethnic and racial minorities as they have unique risk factors for development and progression of CKD.
Chapter. 5173 words. Illustrated.
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