Information for the public
Chronic kidney disease
The term chronic kidney disease (often shortened to CKD) is used to describe long-term kidney problems that occur either when the kidneys don't work as well as normal or when the kidneys are damaged. Kidney disease is called chronic when the problem is present for longer than 3 months. Chronic kidney disease is common, especially in older people, and people often have the condition without knowing it. Many people have no symptoms and some people may not need any treatment.
People with chronic kidney disease often have other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Kidney disease can get worse over months and years (called progressive disease) in some people, but treatment can often stop or delay this and can help to prevent other conditions developing. Some people may go on to develop kidney failure, but most people with chronic kidney disease will not need to have kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant.