Kidney Disease Facts

Kidney Disease Facts

Chronic kidney disease is characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time. It increases the risk of heart and blood vessel disease. Early detection and treatment can often prevent it from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it can lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.

  • There are 10,146 patients on dialysis in Virginia, 765 in Fairfax County and 49 in the City of Fairfax.

  • The Washington, D.C., area leads the nation in kidney disease, with more than 700,000 cases.

  • Each year, more than 87,000 Americans die from causes related to kidney failure.

  • Of the more than 112,000 Americans currently awaiting organ transplants, nearly 90,000 are waiting for a kidney.

  • In 2010, there were 16,901 kidney transplants performed in the U.S. — illustrating the gap between the number of people waiting for a kidney and the number actually receiving one.

  • Every day, 18 people die while waiting for a transplant of a vital organ, such as a kidney, heart or lung.

  • Kidney disease hits minorities disproportionately, with African Americans affected at three times the rate of Caucasians.

  • Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of people with CKD.

*Just one organ/tissue donor can save or improve the lives of up to 50 people.


Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. However, they may notice that they have:

  • trouble concentrating

  • a poor appetite

  • trouble sleeping

  • nighttime muscle cramps

  • swollen feet and ankles

  • puffiness around the eyes, especially in the morning

  • dry, itchy skin

  • less energy and feel more tired

  • the need to urinate more often, especially at night.

Source: National Kidney Foundation