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Risk factors of kidney disease

One in three Australians have an increased risk of kidney disease. Knowing and checking your risk factors can potentially help protect you against developing irreversible kidney disease.

Doctor speaking to patient

Know the risk factors

Risk factors for developing kidney disease include people who:

  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have established heart problems (heart failure or heart attack) or have had a stroke
  • have a family history of kidney disease or kidney failure
  • are obese with a body mass index (BMI) 30 or higher
  • have smoked or is a current smoker
  • are 60 years or older
  • are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin
  • have a history of acute kidney injury

It is also important to note people who have none of the risk factors above may also develop kidney disease. You can take the risk test for kidney disease online.

Higher risk categories

There are two groups of people who have a higher risk of developing kidney disease:

  • People with diabetes. When you have diabetes the high levels of sugar in your blood can damage your kidneys.
  • People with high blood pressure. Kidney disease and high blood pressure are inherently linked. Frequent testing of your blood pressure is necessary to monitor how your kidneys are performing.
Make the link, diabetes, kidneys, heart disease factsheet

Take the Kidney Risk Test!

90% of kidney function can be lost before kidney disease symptoms are apparent. Take our quick online test today and make sure you're not at risk of kidney disease.

Take the test

What to do if you’re at risk

Identifying the risk factors that may affect you and your potential for developing kidney disease is the first and important step. From there, you can talk to a health practitioner and ask them for a regular Kidney Health Check.

By detecting kidney disease early, you can potentially improve your outcomes and delay the progression of your kidney disease.

A health professional consults with a patient

We're here to help

Our free Kidney Helpline provides free support and information for anyone who has questions or concerns about their kidney health. No matter where you are in the journey, or whether you’re a patient or carer, we’re here to help.

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