Skip to main content
End Stage Renal Disease

What is End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)?

Your kidneys work hard getting rid of waste and extra water from your body.  But if your kidneys can’t continue supporting your body’s needs, then you may be at risk for chronic kidney disease.

End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is the final stage of chronic kidney disease. The word "renal" means kidney, and renal and kidney are words that can be used interchangeably. When you have ESRD, your kidneys can no longer keep up your body’s needs anymore. As a result, your body is in great danger, because its extra waste and water aren't getting removed.

ESRD can occur long after chronic kidney disease begins, sometimes as long as 10-20 years later.1 ESRD is also sometimes called end-stage kidney disease and is also commonly known as kidney failure.

Download PDF



  1. (MedlinePlus: End-stage kidney disease)
  2. (Mayo Clinic: Chronic kidney disease)
    (Guidelines for the management of chronic kidney disease)
    (Prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease and Associated Risk Factors—United States, 1999 - 2004)
    (CKD estimates - Neoerica 210209)
  6. (National Kidney Foundation)
    (New York Times: 60 Lives, 30 Kidneys, All Linked)