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Men have a greater lifetime risk for kidney failure

August 17, 2012
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A new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology provides some insights into how likely middle-aged adults are to develop kidney failure during their lifetime.

From 1997 to 2008 Tanvir Chowdhury Turin, MD, PhD, Brenda Hemmelgarn, MD, PhD from the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada, and their colleagues studied 2,895,521 adult Alberta residents who were free of kidney failure at the start of the study. Among the major findings:

  • Approximately 1 in 40 men and 1 in 60 women of middle age will develop kidney failure if they live into their 90s. This equates to a 2.66% risk of kidney failure for men and a 1.76% risk for women.
  • The risk is higher in people with reduced kidney function (men: 7.51% and women: 3.21%) compared with people with relatively preserved kidney function (men: 1.01% and women: 0.63%).
  • The lifetime risk of kidney failure is consistently higher for men at all ages and kidney function levels, compared with women.

The authors note that the actual current life expectancy is approximately 80 years, which changes the risks somewhat. "The observed probabilities indicate that, if the current estimates remains unchanged, approximately 1 in 93 (or approximately 1%) of men and 1 in 133 (or 0.8%) of women of middle age might develop kidney failure in their lifetime in Alberta, Canada," said Hemmelgarn.


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