About the CKD Initiative

In 2006, CDC established the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Initiative to provide public health strategies for promoting kidney health. These strategies seek to:

  • Prevent and control risk factors for CKD
  • Raise awareness of CKD and its complications
  • Promote early diagnosis and treatment of CKD
  • Improve the outcomes for people living with CKD

Current activities of the CKD Initiative include surveillance and epidemiology and health outcomes and economic studies in partnership with other offices at CDC, other government agencies, universities, and national organizations.

Surveillance and Epidemiology

  • In collaboration with the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Michigan, CDC implemented the CKD Surveillance System to document CKD and its risk factors in the US population over time and monitor the progress of efforts to prevent, detect, and manage CKD. This includes kidney disease objectives for Healthy People.
  • In collaboration with other federal agencies, universities, and nonprofit organizations, CDC publishes Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States to provide information to the public, kidney health advocates, and researchers on CKD prevalence, health consequences, risk factors, and prevention and treatment strategies.
  • In collaboration with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, CDC supports the CKD Epidemiology in the Military Health System project to describe the epidemiology of CKD in the military population and assess risk factors for developing CKD.
  • In collaboration with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NIDDK), CDC supports the Longitudinal Study of Markers of Kidney Disease to investigate using new kidney disease markers to diagnose early kidney function decline.
  • CDC provides supplementary funding to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of the National Center for Health Statistics for the collection and analysis of laboratory specimens to measure creatinine and albumin and obtain CKD prevalence estimates. CDC also provided support to update the merged dataset between NHANES and the US Renal Data System (USRDS).
  • Working with partners, CDC uses national datasets like NHANES and the USRDS to conduct numerous epidemiologic studies on CKD and kidney failure and its risk factors in the general and in special populations.

Health Outcomes and Economic Studies

  • CDC is collaborating with Providence St. Joseph/UCLA Health to study using electronic health records to identify people with CKD or at-risk for CKD, to better understand CKD trajectories and risk prediction (e.g., for developing heart disease or kidney failure), and to test and evaluate interventions designed to improve outcomes.
  • In collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs– Health Care System, CDC supports studies to examine the natural history of CKD and look at comorbidities and risk factors associated with disease progression.
  • In collaboration with CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, the CKD Initiative supports strategies to prevent bloodstream infections among patients in hemodialysis facilities, including educational tools and materials for both patients and providers and support to the Making Dialysis Safer Coalition.
  • In collaboration with RTI International, CDC’s cost-effectiveness studies use a lifetime simulation model to assess the cost-effectiveness of screening and treatment interventions for CKD and its complications. These studies—such as using risk scores for CKD screening and recommended treatment targets for anemia among people with CKD—will help in policy decision-making and to efficiently use public health resources to prevent and control CKD.
  • In collaboration with the National Kidney Foundation, CDC conducted the CKD Health Evaluation Risk Information Sharing (CHERISH) project to test the feasibility of a CKD screening and detection program among high-risk individuals in four states. This study will provide information on how to target this population for CKD screening and how public health officials could implement simpler, more efficient protocols for future CKD screening programs.


Albright A, Burrows NR, Jordan R, Williams DE. The Kidney Disease Initiative and the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Am J Kidney Dis. 2009;53(3 Suppl 3):S121–S125.

Narva AS, Briggs M, Jordan R, Pavkov ME, Burrows NR, Williams DE. Toward a more collaborative federal response to chronic kidney disease. [PDF – 407K] Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2010;17(3):282−288.