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Notice to Readers: World Kidney Day --- March 13, 2008

March 13, 2008, is World Kidney Day, observed in the United States and the world to raise awareness of kidney disease and educate persons at risk about the importance of prevention and early detection. Kidney disease, the ninth leading cause of death in the United States (1), is a costly disease associated with severe morbidity and premature death. The disease spectrum extends from persistent microalbuminuria to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (i.e., kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation).

Thirteen percent of U.S. adults (i.e., 26 million adults) were estimated to have chronic kidney disease in 2000, and most of these adults were not aware of their condition (2). Persons with chronic kidney disease are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than progress to ESRD (3). In 2005, approximately 100,000 persons began treatment for ESRD in the United States, nearly half a million persons were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant, and total Medicare expenditures for ESRD reached approximately $20 billion, accounting for 6.4% of the total Medicare budget (4). Of the new cases of ESRD in 2005, 71% had diabetes or hypertension listed as the primary cause (4).

By 2020, with the aging of the population and the increasing prevalence of diabetes, nearly 150,000 persons in the United States are projected to begin therapy for ESRD, nearly 800,000 persons will be living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant, and costs for ESRD are projected to reach approximately $54 billion (4). However, the ESRD incidence rate in the population with diabetes has declined since 1996 (5). Among persons with diabetes, early detection and treatment of kidney disease can help prevent or delay cardiovascular death and progression to ESRD (6,7); among those with diabetes and hypertension, blood sugar and blood pressure control have been shown to prevent or delay the onset of kidney disease (6,8).

CDC, in collaboration with partners, has launched the Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative to develop capacity at CDC in the areas of kidney disease surveillance, epidemiology, health outcomes research, and health economics to provide public health strategies for promoting kidney health. Additional information about this initiative is available at

Information about kidney disease prevention and control is available from the National Kidney Disease Education Program at Information on World Kidney Day activities is available at


  1. Kung HC, Hoyert DL, Xu JQ, Murphy SL. Deaths: final data for 2005. Natl Vital Stat Rep 2008;56(10):9.
  2. Coresh J, Selvin E, Stevens LA, et al. Prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the United States. JAMA 2007;298:2038--47.
  3. Collins AJ, Li S, Gilbertson DT, et al. Chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease in the Medicare population. Kidney Int Suppl 2003;87:S24--31.
  4. US Renal Data System. ESRD incidence and prevalence. In: US Renal Data System 2007 annual data report: atlas of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease in the United States. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2007. Available at
  5. CDC. Incidence of end-stage renal disease among persons with diabetes---United States, 1990--2002. MMWR 2005;54:1097--100.
  6. American Diabetes Association. Nephropathy in diabetes. Diabetes Care 2004;27 (Suppl 1):S79--83.
  7. Brenner BM, Cooper ME, de Zeeuw D, et al. Effects of losartan on renal and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy. N Engl J Med 2001;345:861--9.
  8. Ruggenenti P, Fassi A, Ilieva AP, et al. Preventing microalbuminuria in type 2 diabetes. N Eng J Med 2004;351:1941--51.

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Date last reviewed: 2/27/2008


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