A risk factor is something that makes the chances for you to have a disease or condition higher. The chances of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is highest for people who are 65 years and older. Other factors:


Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the most common cause of CKD. The body has a hard time moving glucose out of the blood. Diabetes harms the tiny filters in the kidneys. It also causes harm to the heart, blood vessels, and eyes.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is the second most common cause of CKD. It happens when there is high pressure within the arteries of the body. Over time, it harms the kidneys. CKD can also cause high blood pressure.

Family History

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disease that causes cysts to form in the kidneys. This can lead to CKD. There is a strong genetic link in people with type 2 diabetes who later have kidney problems. Having a parent, brother, or sister, who has or had CKD also makes your risk higher.

Race and Ethnicity

CKD is more common among certain ethnic groups such as:

  • Black race
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Asian or Pacific Islanders
  • American Indians

These groups are more likely to get CKD because they are more likely to have problems that lead to it. Diabetes is more common among these groups listed than other people. Black men and women are more likely to get high blood pressure than people of other races.


Chronic kidney disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/chronic-kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease. Updated March 2017. Accessed June 18, 2018.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115336/Chronic-kidney-disease-CKD-in-adults. Updated May 14, 2018. Accessed June 18, 2018.

What is chronic kidney disease? National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/what-is-chronic-kidney-disease. Updated June 2017. Accessed June 18, 2018.

Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD  Last Updated: 06/18/2018