When kidneys get old: an essay on nephro-geriatrics

Richard Glassock, Aleksandar Denic, Andrew D. Rule

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Aging is a nearly universal phenomenon in biology only partially controlled by genetic endowment. Individuals and their organs age at varying rates. The kidneys manifest the aging process by steady loss of nephrons and a corresponding decrease in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) beginning about age 30 years. The mechanisms responsible for this observation is are elusive. However, defining chronic kidney disease based on arbitrary, fixed thresholds of GFR in the later phases of life can be problematical as it may over-diagnosis CKD in the elderly. A modest, persisting reduction of GFR (around 45-59 ml/min/1.73m2) without abnormal proteinuria does not seem to confer much of an adverse effect on mortality and remaining life expectancy in older adults and the development of end-stage renal disease in such subjects is very uncommon. Old kidneys should not be equated with "diseased" kidneys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalJornal brasileiro de nefrologia : 'orgao oficial de Sociedades Brasileira e Latino-Americana de Nefrologia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'When kidneys get old: an essay on nephro-geriatrics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this