Aging and the Kidneys: Anatomy, Physiology and Consequences for Defining Chronic Kidney Disease

Richard J. Glassock, Andrew D. Rule

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

The varied functions of the kidneys are influenced by the complex process of aging. The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) steadily declines with normal aging, and the progress of this process can be influenced by superimposed diseases. Microscopically, nephron numbers decrease as global glomerulosclerosis becomes more evident. The precise mechanisms underlying nephron loss with aging are not well understood, but derangements in podocyte biology appear to be involved. Classifications of chronic kidney disease (CKD) incorporate GFR values and attendant risk of adverse events. Arbitrary and fixed thresholds of GFR for defining CKD have led to an overdiagnosis of CKD in the elderly. An age-sensitive definition of CKD could offer a solution to this problem and more meaningfully capture the prognostic implications of CKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalNephron
Volume134
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Glomerular filtration rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nephrology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Urology

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