Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition characterized by gradual loss of kidney function over time. The major role of the kidney is excretion of water-soluble waste products. Meanwhile, the kidneys respond continually to changes in blood volume as well as osmolality, and adjust the levels of water, electrolyte, and acid-base balance by selectively excreting or reabsorbing them. In addition, the kidneys are main site of production for a number of hormones, chiefly renin and erythropoietin. Millions of adults have CKD and others who have diabetes, hypertension, and family history of renal failure are at high risk. Glomerular filtration rate is the best estimate of kidney function, combining with proteinuria is used for staging of CKD. Patients with CKD may develop complications like cardiovascular disease, anemia, mineral and bone disorders, and nervous system diseases. Those who develop kidney failure require dialysis or kidney transplantation. The cost of treatment for this growing epidemic represents an enormous burden on healthcare systems worldwide. In this chapter, we will overview definition, epidemiology, cost, and outcomes of CKD. The detailed diagnosis and treatment will be discussed in the following chapters.
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