CKD Awareness Among US Adults by Future Risk of Kidney Failure

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Chronic Kidney Disease Surveillance Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Rationale & Objective: Persons with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are often unaware of their disease status. Efforts to improve CKD awareness may be most effective if focused on persons at highest risk for progression to kidney failure. Study Design: Serial cross-sectional surveys. Setting & Participants: Nonpregnant adults (aged ≥20 years) with CKD glomerular filtration rate categories 3-4 (G3-G4) who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2016 (n = 3,713). Predictor: 5-year kidney failure risk, estimated using the Kidney Failure Risk Equation. Predicted risk was categorized as minimal (<2%), low (2%-<5%), intermediate (5%-<15%), or high (≥15%). Outcome: CKD awareness, defined by answering “yes” to the question “Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you had weak or failing kidneys?” Analytical Approach: Prevalence of CKD awareness was estimated within each risk group using complex sample survey methods. Associations between Kidney Failure Risk Equation risk and CKD awareness were assessed using multivariable logistic regression. CKD awareness was compared with awareness of hypertension and diabetes during the same period. Results: In 2011 to 2016, unadjusted CKD awareness was 9.6%, 22.6%, 44.7%, and 49.0% in the minimal-, low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups, respectively. In adjusted analyses, these proportions did not change over time. Awareness of CKD, including among the highest risk group, remains consistently below that of hypertension and diabetes and awareness of these conditions increased over time. Limitations: Imperfect sensitivity of the “weak or failing kidneys” question for ascertaining CKD awareness. Conclusions: Among adults with CKD G3-G4 who have 5-year estimated risks for kidney failure of 5%-<15% and ≥15%, approximately half were unaware of their kidney disease, a gap that has persisted nearly 2 decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-183
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • CKD awareness
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • albuminuria
  • disease management
  • estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
  • health literacy
  • kidney failure prevention
  • nationally representative survey
  • patient empowerment
  • public health
  • renal function
  • renal insufficiency
  • self-care
  • urinary albumin-creatinine ratio (UACR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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