The implications of anatomical and functional changes of the aging kidney: With an emphasis on the glomeruli

Richard J. Glassock, Andrew D. Rule

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

148 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aging is both a natural and inevitable biological process. With advancing age, the kidneys undergo anatomical and physiological changes that are not only the consequences of normal organ senescence but also of specific diseases (such as atherosclerosis or diabetes) that occur with greater frequency in older individuals. Disentangling these two processes, one pathologic and the other physiologic, is difficult. In this review we concentrate on the glomerular structural and functional alterations that accompany natural aging. We also analyze how these changes affect the identification of individuals of advancing age as having chronic kidney disease (CKD) and how these changes can influence prognosis for adverse outcomes, including all-cause mortality, end-stage renal disease, cardiovascular events and mortality, and acute kidney injury. This review describes important shortcomings and deficiencies with our current approach and understanding of CKD in the older and elderly adult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-277
Number of pages8
JournalKidney international
Volume82
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012

Keywords

  • aged
  • geriatric nephrology
  • glomerular filtration rate
  • glomerulosclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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