Skip to main content

End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

Risk Factors, Prevention, and Diagnosis

What increases your risk of end-stage renal disease?

Chronic kidney disease can eventually turn into end-stage kidney disease. Differences in overall health, economic status, and even ethnicity can contribute to the probability of having chronic kidney disease. 

Certain groups of people are more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. Some risk factors include:

  • People with diabetes or high blood pressure
  • People with a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, or ESRD 
  • African Americans are three times more likely than average to suffer from kidney disease because they are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems, all of which can lead to kidney failure and chronic kidney disease.6
  • Hispanic Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians are all also more likely to develop chronic kidney disease.6

You become more likely to develop chronic kidney disease as you grow older. 

How can you prevent end-stage renal disease?

If you have chronic kidney disease, you can't prevent end-stage renal disease. But there are many options for slowing down the progression from early stage to late stage renal disease. These options are discussed in the "Treatment" section.

How is end-stage renal disease diagnosed?

Your health history, your family health history, blood tests, and urine tests, can be used to help diagnose ESRD. 

Sometimes, your doctor will perform an ultrasound or CT scan of your kidney to look for signs of chronic kidney disease. Your doctor may even remove a small piece of your kidney in a procedure called a kidney biopsy. Your doctor will test this piece of kidney  to figure out if you have chronic kidney disease, and to determine its causes and how advanced it is.



  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)