34 Kidney Disease Statistics & Facts (March 2021 Edition)

Kidney Disease Statistics - General

Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the US as shown in kidney disease statistics, killing in co-action with the most frequent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. 

Now, as if this wasn’t alarming enough, kidney disease is rarely detectable before reaching advanced stages. Hence, collecting valuable information out of these stats is a vital preventive measure, allowing you to remain one step ahead of this vicious condition.

To find out more about this topic, just take a look at the most important facts and stats down below. 

Top 10 Facts & Kidney Disease Statistics for 2021

  • Over 850 million people live with some type of kidney disease.
  • 37 million Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease.
  • 12% of COVID19 patients over 60 will develop AKI (acute kidney injury).
  • Covid patients with ESRD are 11 times more likely to end up in the hospital.
  • Around 91,834 selected candidates are waiting for a kidney transplant in the US.
  • 1 in 10 people will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives, kidney disease statistics report.
  • 95% of Americans support organ donation, while only 54% are registered donors.
  • Finland has the lowest rates of kidney disease deaths per capita — 2.55 per 100,000.
  • 1 in 3 adults who have diabetes also have CKD (chronic kidney disease)
  • Cannabidiol inhibits stress-induced hypertension linked to CKD.

Chronic Kidney Disease Statistics & Facts

What is a chronic kidney disease, and how many people get diagnosed with this disease each year?

1. 9 in 10 US adults that have chronic kidney disease are not aware of it.

(CDC) (WebMD)

In fact, only 10% of people with CKD are aware of it, given that its symptoms are often missed. Facts about kidney failure state there are five warning signs that can indicate a problem with kidneys:

  • Changes in the urine (blood in the urine)
  • Upset stomach
  • Itchy and dry skin
  • Swelling (around the feet, ankles, hands, and eyes)
  • Fatigue and sleeping problems

The same goes for kidney cancer symptoms, for which it takes a certain time before patients start to feel intense pain that doesn’t go away. As with any serious condition, early detection is vital for the prognosis of kidney disease.

2. Chronic kidney disease statistics worldwide from 2019 show us that over 850 million people around the world live with some type of kidney disease.

(Era-Edta) (Oxford Academic)

10%–15% of adults have kidney diseases, whether it’s chronic kidney disease (CKD) or acute kidney injury (AKI). The number of people who have some type of kidney disease is, for example, 20 higher than the number of people who have AIDS/HIV. On top of that, it’s believed that by 2040, CKD will become the 5th leading cause of death in the world.

3. Kidney diseases are the 10th leading cause of death worldwide.

(WHO)

Based on the global data on kidney disease deaths in 2019, the CKD mortality rates have increased to 1.3 million in the mentioned year. In addition to that, kidney diseases were the 8th cause of death in high-income countries. 

4. CKD is more frequent among women than men.

(CDC)

Chronic kidney disease among the adult US population is more common in women (15%) than men (12%). Women struggle more often with CKD because they get urinary tract infections more often than men. Likewise, pregnancy, high blood pressure, and eclampsia can also be the risk factors that can lead to kidney damage.

That said, when it comes to chronic kidney disease prevalence by age, CKD is much more prevalent among people older than 65 years — 38%, compared to people between the ages of 45 and 64 — 13%, and people between 18 and 44 — 7%.  

5. About 37 million Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease.

(National Kidney Foundation)

In other words, that’s more than 1 in 7 adults! On top of that, kidney transplant statistics show that 21,963 Americans received a kidney transplant in 2020, whereas 100,000 people are still on the waiting list. 

6. CKD is most frequent among non-Hispanic blacks — 16%.

(CDC) (National Kidney Foundation)

Minorities are more likely to develop a progressed form of CKD called ESKD (end-stage kidney disease). Not only are African Americans three times more likely to develop ESKD compared to Whites, but they are also less likely to get a kidney transplant.

7. According to chronic kidney disease statistics, 1 in 3 adults who have diabetes also have CKD.

(CDC)

High blood pressure, diabetes, and a family history of kidney diseases are the most common risk factors for developing CKD. Diabetes and high blood pressure are accountable for two-thirds of the CKD diagnosis. If these conditions are left unsupervised, they might cause strokes, heart attacks, and chronic kidney diseases. 

8. El Salvador is the country with the highest kidney disease death rates. 1 in 10 people has CKD.

(World Life Expectancy) (Global Voices)

Based on the chronic kidney disease statistics worldwide from 2020, KD is the second leading cause of death in El Salvador, with the death rates of 66.43 per 100,000 people. In fact, CKD reached epidemic proportions in this country in 2019.

Nicaragua is second on the list (60.87 per 100,000), followed by Micronesia (52.10) and Libya (45.49).

9. Finland has the lowest rates of kidney disease deaths per capita — 2.55 per 100,000.

(World Life Expectancy)

Kidney disease is the 28th cause of death in this country, just above skin cancer. The kidney disease survival rate in Finland is pretty high. So far, only 507 people have died due to KD since March of 2020. 

10. There are five stages of CKD. Each stage is linked to a different life expectancy.

(HealthGrades)

Stages 1 and 2 are associated with mild kidney damage, and most of the time, the kidneys are healthy and in working condition. More severe kidney damage is linked to stages 3, 4, and 5. 

When it comes to stage 3, life expectancy is 28 years for women in their 40es, i.e., 24 years for men in their 40es, after the primary diagnosis. 

Stage 4 kidney disease survival rate and life expectancy are 16 years for women and 14 years for men.

Stage 5 is linked to kidney failure and kidney transplant. The life expectancy for women (30-35 years old) without the transplant is 13 years, i.e., 14 years for men. People between 70 and 75 years are expected to live 4 years after the diagnosis (both women and men).

11. Kidney disease statistics by state report CKD death rate was highest in Mississippi.

(CDC)

In 2019, the highest number of recorded deaths due to chronic kidney disease in the US was noted in Texas (4,165), but the death rate was highest in Mississippi.

With a total of 21.8 deaths per 100,000 population, Mississippi is the worst state for chronic kidney disease patients, as displayed in the chronic kidney disease statistics from 2019.

12. 1 in 10 people will have a kidney stone at some point in their lives.

(National Kidney Foundation) (NIDDK)

Each year almost half a million people are diagnosed with kidney stones. In the US, the prevalence grows bigger each year. 

Kidney stone lifetime risk is higher in men (11%) than women (6%),.  

13. Kidney stone statistics show about 80% of kidney stones belong to the calcium type.

(Keck Medicine)

There are 4 types of kidney stones: uric acid stones, struvite stones, cystine stones, and the most common, calcium stones. Calcium and cystine stones are harder and smaller than struvite stones, which sometimes resemble a bull’s horns.  

14. The youngest patients with kidney stones are 5 years old.

(National Kidney Foundation)

Just one of many interesting facts about kidney stones is that they can appear for an extremely short period of time and at almost any age. It may surprise you, but kidney stones are common in children. The leading causes are their food choices such as salty foods and sodas, and low water intake. 

15. Kidney cancer is the sixth most common cancer type for men and the eighth for women.

(Cancer.net)

Kidney disease statistics show approximately 73,750 US adults (predominantly men) are diagnosed with kidney cancer each year. 

As with other cancerous diseases, the mortality rate is high with an estimated 25% of patients dying in the first 5 years following the initial diagnosis. That said, several factors can affect the mortality and survival rates, like the type of cancer, the type of cell, and stage of diagnosis. 

Kidney cancer statistics estimate that around 14,830 deaths annually are due to kidney cancer. 

COVID-19 and Kidney Diseases 

What is the link between covid and kidney diseases?

16. 12% of covid patients over 60 will develop AKI.

(Medical News Today)

Acute kidney injury seems to be more prevalent among older covid patients. In fact, 12% of patients over 60 could develop AKI, compared to 6% of patients under 60 years, based on a recent study. The risk of developing AKI is also higher among patients who have a history of kidney diseases and suffer from chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart disease).

17. Studies on coronavirus and kidney disease show that hospitalized covid patients are in big danger of developing acute kidney injury (AKI).

(Medical News Today)

Various studies show an undeniable connection between COVID-19 and AKI. Some studies show that 4%–37% of coronavirus cases are linked to the kidneys and that AKI is prevalent among 50% of hospitalized patients. 

Other reviews say that 10% of patients with a severe covid diagnosis will develop AKI, while a study from September 2020 showed the figure was as high as 81%. Although the numbers are different in each study, the link between the two is pretty obvious.

18. Covid patients with ESRD are 11 times more likely to end up in the hospital.

(Healthline)

Kidney failure facts explain that ESRD, or end-stage renal disease, is the 5th stage, or the final kidney disease stage. In other words, at this stage, the kidneys are not able to function. 

The main symptoms of ESRD involve the inability to urinate, changes in skin color, itchy and dry skin, fatigue, and sudden weight loss. 

How Common Is Kidney Failure?  

How many people get to the final stage (ESRD) of kidney diseases? 

19. The statistics imply that ESRD incidence in the US will continue to grow throughout 2030.

(JASN)

This means that by 2030, the number of ESRD patients will increase to 971,000—1,259,000 people. The ESRD prevalence rate among older people will also continue to grow. For people aged 45 to 65, ESRD prevalence will amount to 604–620 people per million per year. 

20. Based on the chronic kidney disease statistics worldwide from 2018, Jalisco, Mexico, has the highest ESRD prevalence in the world.

(USRDS) (ASN)

Even though Mexico doesn’t have a national CKD registry, it’s believed that 9% of the population has chronic kidney disease. Based on the most recent available data, the ESRD prevalence in Jalisco was 594 per million people. Taiwan (523 per million people) and Hungary (508 per million inhabitants) were close behind.

As kidney disease statistics for the United States imply, ESRD prevalence is 395 per million.

21. The primary glomerular disease accounts for 22.3% of cases with adolescent ESRD.

(National Kidney Foundation)

Other major causes are congenital abnormalities of the urinary tract with 21.9% of ESRD cases.

In 2019, 760 children aged 18 and younger received a kidney transplant and more than 1,000 children were waiting for a donated kidney. Receiving a kidney transplant increases life expectancy in adolescents with ESKD from 38 to 63 years as shown in kidney transplant life expectancy statistics.    

CKD Treatment Stats & Facts 

Is there a way to treat chronic kidney diseases, and how much does it cost?

22. There are four main treatments for CKD.

(NHS)

Although CKD is an incurable disease, some treatments can reduce its symptoms. Different CKD stages will require different treatments, but the main treatments include changes in the lifestyle, medicine that will help control the disease, treatment that will mimic the kidney’s functions, and kidney transplant.

23. According to chronic kidney disease statistics worldwide, kidney transplantation is most affordable in India.

(MediGlobus) (Investopedia)

India has the lowest transplantation prices due to its economic state and a large number of medical centers. For example, kidney transplantation in India costs from $13,000-$14,000, whereas in the US, kidney transplantation is the 8th most expensive procedure that costs $442,500. 

Besides India, three other countries have low kidney transplantation prices — Turkey ($17,000), South Korea ($40,000), and Spain (about $71,000). 

24. Based on the statistics on kidney disease, Spain had the highest rate of kidney transplant procedures in 2019.

(Statista) (Statista)

The ratio for kidney was 73.8 per million population. In addition to that, Spain was also the country with the highest rates of organ donors (deceased) in the same year, right above the US, with a ratio of 49.6 per million.

France and Netherlands took second place regarding the transplants, with the same ratio of 55.6 per million people, followed by the UK and Finland.

25. Currently, around 91,834 selected candidates are waiting for a kidney transplant in the US.

(Statista

Dating from September 2020, the kidney transplant waiting list statistics shows that the highest percentage of patients waiting for organ transplants make kidney transplant candidates.  

26. 95% of Americans support organ donation, while only 54% are registered donors.

(Penn Medicine)

One organ donor can help save 8 lives by donating eyes, kidneys, lungs, intestines, liver, tissue, pancreas, and heart. In fact, one tissue donor can help 75 people by donating heart valves and vessels, skin, cartilage, bone, tendons, sclera, connective tissue, and corneas.

Unfortunately, kidney donation statistics show that every day about 18 people from the transplantation waiting list die while waiting for the available organ.

27. In 2020, 867 candidates on the organ donation waiting list were children between 11–17.

(Statista)

The highest percentage of candidates waiting for an available organ was noted among people between 50–64 years (46,978), followed by 26,824 candidates over 65 years old. 24,924 candidates were between 35–49, and 8,982 candidates aged between 18 and 34. 

The smallest percentage was noted among candidates under one year (116), 6–10 years (401), and 1–5 years (497). 

28. Dialysis statistics show that people on dialysis can expect to live 5 to 10 years.

(National Kidney Foundation) (HealthGrades)

Keep in mind that this is an average life expectancy and that some people can live on dialysis for 20–30 years. Dialysis treatment has to be taken three times per week, and one treatment lasts for about four hours.

There are two different types of dialysis — peritoneal and hemodialysis. Peritoneal dialysis is performed in hospitals, while hemodialysis can be performed at home.

Kidney Disease Statistics on Cannabis Treatment

Can cannabis help with the treatment of kidney diseases?

29. CBD can prevent the onset of chronic kidney disease in diabetics. 

(Frontiers)

Diabetic patients experience a multitude of complications due to the damage to the tiny blood vessels in the body. Studies in vivo involving diabetic mice showed improved elasticity and relaxation of mesenteric arteries in diabetic mice after using CBD, resulting in better blood flow to the internal organs. 

Extrapolated to humans, these kidney disease facts mean that CBD can block the 3 main mechanisms through which CKD is developed in diabetics: by attenuating inflammation, increasing neurological sensitivity in the bladder, improving kidney filtration and preventing the onset of diabetes.

30. Cannabidiol inhibits stress-induced hypertension linked to CKD.

(NCBI)

Chronic high blood pressure (BP) or hypertension is the second leading cause of kidney disease.

A 2015 human study and a meta-study of published researchers concluded that CBD lowers BP only slightly. Nevertheless, CBD plays an important role in controlling the stress-induced spike of BP.

Kidney disease stats show that controlling blood pressure directly means preventing CKD in people with hypertension. During induced stress, CBD keeps blood pressure leveled by lowering it by 5 mmHg, approximately. This effect was observed in many studies involving mice and in healthy and young men, thus, further research is needed in humans under pathological conditions.  

31. Cannabis can mitigate kidney-related pain.

(NCBI)

Whether suffering from kidney stones, CKD, or kidney cancer, one of the particularly scary kidney disease facts is that advanced stages of kidney disease come with a certain degree of pain. 

Researchers compared the effects of a single potent dose of THC with that of codeine and concluded that 10mg of THC can act as 60mg of codeine with an added sedative effect. A handful of case studies have shown the pain-relieving abilities of marijuana, but clinical evidence is still scarce.  

32. The CBD/THC mix could be useful for ESRD-caused insomnia.

(NCBI)

Kidney statistics show that insomnia and other sleep disturbances are especially frequent in patients with end-stage renal disease. 

Although most of the research involving the use of cannabinoids target stress-related insomnia, preliminary studies in healthy volunteers suggested that a ratio of a high dose of CBD and a low dose of THC can effectively induce sleep in other cases of insomnia, which gives hope for future cannabinoid therapy of uremic syndrome insomnia.  

33. Cannabinoid cream calms ESRD–induced chronic itching.

(NCBI)

Renal failure statistics show that chronic itching (uremic pruritus) impacts 40% of ESRD patients. It can be moderate or severe in some cases. 

In a recent study, a topical cream containing cannabinoids was given to patients receiving hemodialysis and experiencing uremic pruritus with a success rate of 38.1%. Larger scale studies are needed for a definitive conclusion concerning these findings.  

34. THC counters the loss of appetite in advanced CKD and patients with kidney cancer.

(NCBI)

Disturbances in the nervous system of CKD sufferers result in abnormally high doses of serotonin — known appetite suppressor. Kidney failure statistics display that CKD anorexia can lead to malnutrition and greater risk of developing infections. 

THC effectively increases appetite in cancer patients and HIV patients by activating special receptors in the hypothalamic region. The same might be true for CKD patients. 

Conclusion

The global data paints a clear picture of the enormous burden that this highly under-estimated disease imposes on public health worldwide. Kidney disease statistics reveal that each year, we pay a huge death toll for a simple awareness problem since non-expensive and largely available tests exist for regular monitoring of kidney health. 

That said, more attention should be put to further investigating the use of cannabinoids in kidney disease management and prevention, because of their already proven physiological effects.

FAQs

What causes kidney disease?

In most cases, kidney disease triggers are diabetes and hypertension. Another common cause is glomerulonephritis — a result of infection and affecting the filtering units of the kidney. 

Different infections, kidney stones, and hereditary diseases may cause kidney disease. Pain-killers abuse and heroin abuse can also impair kidney function due to overuse. 

Moreover, polycystic kidney disease is a hereditary condition that may cause kidney disease and the obvious culprit, kidney cancer.

What is chronic kidney disease?

The diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) describes a condition where the kidneys are irreversibly damaged to a certain degree and fail to function with maximum capacity longer than 3 months. 

CKD increases the possibility of damage progression, ultimately leading to kidney failure; in other words, end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If they do fail, a kidney transplant or dialysis is needed to survive. 

What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

The symptoms of kidney disease include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, feeling cold in normal temperatures, mental confusion, feeling itchy, ammonia breath, swollen hands and feet, swollen face, feeling nauseous, vomiting, producing foamy, dark urine, and having a metallic taste in the mouth.

Some of these symptoms are common for other diseases. Therefore, it’s important to consult a doctor and conduct further tests. 

How to prevent kidney disease?

You can prevent kidney disease by getting a screening, controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure, eating healthy, and staying active.

In other words, to prevent kidney diseases, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. For example, try exercising more, quit smoking and drinking, control your weight, check your cholesterol levels, stay hydrated, and be aware of your family history.

How long can you stay in stage 3 kidney disease?

This stage’s life expectancy is 28 years for women and 24 years for men after the diagnosis at 40 years old. On that note, stage 3 kidney disease can be divided into two subcategories, 3A and 3B, in relation to the creatinine level in the blood. 

People in this stage may not experience CKD symptoms, but if they do, they will experience feet and hands swelling, back pain, frequent urination.

Stage 3 doesn’t necessarily lead to kidney failure if the condition is controlled.

What are the stages of kidney disease?

There are five stages of CKD depending on the operation of the kidneys. The effectiveness of the kidneys is called the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) and is presented in percentage. 

These percentages are measured by the levels of creatinine, albumins, and urea in the blood, along with the levels of proteins, blood, and sugar in the urine. Here are the stages according to percentages of GFR:  

  • Stage 1 (>90%);
  • Stage 2 (60–89%);
  • Stage 3  (30–59%);
  • Stage 4 (15–29%);
  • Stage 5  (<15%).

How fast does chronic kidney disease progress?

CKD progresses at different rates for different individuals. The progress will also depend on the patient’s age, sex, and other health conditions. 

For example, based on one recent large case study (73 is the mean age of patients), 1 in 4 patients with diabetes progressed to another CKD stage in just 2 years, whereas only 1 in 7 patients without diabetes did so over the exact same period. 

How does diabetes cause kidney disease?

There are several ways in which chronic high blood sugar or diabetes causes kidney disease:

  • By damaging (clogging and narrowing) the tiny blood vessels in the filtration units of the kidney — called nephrons. This leads to impaired function of the kidney and progressively to CKD.
  • By damaging the nerves in your bladder — insensitive nerves can’t transfer the “full bladder” message to the brain in a timely manner. Full bladder causes pressure that can damage the kidneys.
  • By promoting UTIs — the bladder that is full of sugary urine due to diabetes, for long periods of time, is ideal for the proliferation of bacteria, and in that way, causing infection.    

What not to eat when you have kidney disease?

There is a special diet that everybody concerned by CKD has to follow, popularly known as “renal diet.” Different stages of chronic kidney disease, require different restrictions including:

  • drinks: dark-colored Colas
  • meals: pre-made meals and canned foods
  • fruits: avocados, apricots, bananas, oranges and orange juice, dried fruits, such as   dates, raisins, and prunes
  • wheats: whole grain bread
  • dairy
  • meat: processed meats
  • vegetables: pickles, olives, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, and beet  greens
  • pretzels, crackers, and chips

Mainly foods that are rich in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. Stages 4 and 5 also require adding protein-rich foods on to the list and sugar-rich foods for diabetics as well.

(Health Line)

What percent of the population has kidney disease?

10%–15% of the population, or 850 million people worldwide, suffer from chronic kidney disease. CKD is the 10th leading cause of death in the world. However, if the statistics are correct, by 2040, chronic kidney disease will become the 5th leading cause of death. 

When it comes to the US, about 37 million Americans have CKD (15% of adult US citizens).

What is the mortality rate of kidney disease?

After a year of dialysis, mortality rates for kidney disease patients vary from 10% to 15%. The mortality rates for five years of dialysis exceed 50%. As for the transplants, the mortality rate is 20% in the 5 years after the procedure.

Kidney disease statistics show the mortality rate is twice as higher among people with CDK that are not on dialysis than among people without CKD. What’s more, during the spring of 2020, the mortality rates among kidney transplant and dialysis patients went up by 37% and 61% due to coronavirus. On a related note, you should know that CKD patients have a 14–16 times higher pneumonia-related mortality rate.

What country has the highest kidney disease death rates?

El Salvador has the highest KD death rates per capita in the world — 66.43 per 100,000 people. CKD is the 2nd leading cause of death among men in the county, right after coronary heart disease, and the third cause of hospital death. Whereas 1 in 3 Salvadorans older than 60 struggle with CKD, the number of children diagnosed with CKD is also rising.

Kidney disease statistics show Finland, the UK, and Ukraine have the lowest KD death rates per capita.

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