Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive disease that can eventually lead to kidney failure, also called end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). Worldwide, nearly 700 million people are affected by CKD,1 with likely many more still being undiagnosed.2,3 The main causes of CKD are diabetes, high blood pressure and glomerulonephritis.4

Addressing CKD and other CVRM diseases

Science is uncovering the commonalities between cardiovascular, renal and metabolic diseases (CVRM) which is at the core of our approach towards holistic care for CVRM patients. We aim to continue developing our potential solutions to these life-altering diseases that will not only bring kidney diseases to the medical forefront, but also offer patients new methods to improve their health journey beyond one specific disease.

The patient experience

Chronic kidney disease

CKD patients may face physical and emotional difficulties on a daily basis. The progressive nature of CKD alongside the knowledge that no cure exists can often be a challenging journey for both patients and their loved ones.20,21

Early diagnosis and intervention have been shown to slow progression of CKD and improve patient outcomes22 – but with typically no symptoms in the early stages,20 patients may not realise they have the disease until it has advanced. In these later stages, patients face the risk of developing other complications and dialysis possibly looming on the horizon.21

Helping patients living with chronic kidney disease

By keeping our patients’ well-being at the centre of our work, we aim to address unmet needs across the full continuum of care. We emphasise the importance of doctors playing an active role in not only treating patients early, but also in underlining the impact CKD, hyperkalaemia and anaemia can have on their broader disease management.

patients worldwide with renal disease icon

Nearly 700 million

people are living with CKD worldwide1


CKD patients have diabetes and high blood pressure icon

In advanced

 countries across the world, 2-3% of the annual healthcare budget is spent on ESKD treatment23


US country with CKD patients icon


of Stage 5 CKD patients have anaemia in the US12


hyperkalaemia risk increase in chronic kidney disease patients icon

Up to 40-50%

of patients with CKD may at some stage be affected by hyperkalaemia16

hyperkalaemia risk increase in chronic kidney disease patients icon


disease accounts for up to 30% of deaths in patients with CKD24.



Our commitment

Today, we are focused on exploring treatments and solutions across the full continuum of care, from prevention and protection before a CKD diagnosis to slowing progression and managing serious complications across all stages of disease after diagnosis.


Our people

With chronic kidney disease affecting nearly 700 million people worldwide, I am proud that AstraZeneca is taking the lead and is fully committed to building a portfolio that will establish us as a scientific leader in the cardiorenal space.

Nicolas Jose Guzman, M.D. Director, Nephrology Clinical Research

Discover more about CVRM


  1. Bikbov B et al. Global, regional, and national burden of chronic kidney disease, 1990–2017: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet 2020; 395(10225):709–33.
  2. National Kidney Foundation. Kidney Disease: The Basics; 20 [cited 16 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:
  3. Hirst JA et al. Prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the community using data from OxRen: A UK population-based cohort study. Br J Gen Pract 2020; 70(693):e285-e293.
  4. National Kidney Foundation. Kidney Disease: Causes; 2020 [cited 16 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:
  5. House AA et al. Heart failure in chronic kidney disease: Conclusions from a Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Controversies Conference. Kidney Int 2019; 95(6):1304–17.
  6. O'Mara NB. Anemia in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease. Diabetes Spectrum 2008; 21(1):12–9.
  7. Kovesdy CP et al. Serum potassium and adverse outcomes across the range of kidney function: A CKD Prognosis Consortium meta-analysis. Eur Heart J 2018; 39(17):1535–42.
  8. Hoppe LK et al. Association of Abnormal Serum Potassium Levels with Arrhythmias and Cardiovascular Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 2018; 32(2):197–212.
  9. Fishbane S, Spinowitz B. Update on Anemia in ESRD and Earlier Stages of CKD: Core Curriculum 2018. Am J Kidney Dis 2018; 71(3):423–35.
  10. National Kidney Foundation. Managing Anemia: When You Have Kidney Disease or Kidney Failure. New York; 2014 [cited 16 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:
  11. Babitt JL, Lin HY. Mechanisms of Anemia in CKD. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2012; 23(10):1631–4.
  12. Stauffer ME, Fan T. Prevalence of anemia in chronic kidney disease in the United States. PLoS ONE 2014; 9(1):e84943.
  13. National Kidney Foundation. Anemia and Chronic Kidney Disease; 2015 [cited 16 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:
  14. National Kidney Foundation. KDOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines and Clinical Practice Recommendations for Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease. Am J Kidney Dis 2006; 47(Suppl 3):S1-S146.
  15. National Kidney Foundation. What is Hyperkalemia?; 08 Feb 2016 [cited 16 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:
  16. National Kidney Foundation. Facts About High Potassium in Patients with Kidney Disease [cited 16 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:
  17. Dunn JD et al. The Burden of Hyperkalemia in Patients With Cardiovascular and Renal Disease. The American Journal of Managed Care 2015; 21(15):S307-15.
  18. Einhorn LM et al. The Frequency of Hyperkalemia and Its Significance in Chronic Kidney Disease. Arch Intern Med 2009; 169(12):1156-1162.
  19. National Kidney Foundation. Potassium and Your CKD Diet; 15 Jun 2020 [cited 16 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:
  20. National Health Service. Chronic kidney disease; 29 Aug 2019 [cited 20 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:
  21. Bello AK et al. Complications of chronic kidney disease: Current state, knowledge gaps, and strategy for action. Kidney Int Suppl (2011) 2017; 7(2):122–9.
  22. Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) CKD Work Group. KDIGO 2012 clinical practice guideline for the evaluation and management of chronic kidney disease. Kidney International Supplement 2013; (3):1–150.
  23. Bello AK et al. Global Kidney Health Atlas: A report by the International Society of Nephrology on the current state of organization and structures for kidney care across the globe. Brussels, Belgium: International Society of Nephrology; 2017. Available from: URL:
  24. Thompson S et al. Cause of Death in Patients with Reduced Kidney Function. J Am Soc Nephrol 2015; 26(10):2504–11.
  25. McCafferty K et al. HEROIC: A 5-year observational cohort study aimed at identifying novel factors that drive diabetic kidney disease: rationale and study protocol. BMJ Open 2020; 10(9):e033923.
  26. U.S. National Institutes of Health. A Study on Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) to Assess Treatment Experience and Patterns, Effect of the Treatment, Patient Outcomes and Patient Quality of Life (DISCOVER CKD) [Identifier: NCT04034992] [cited 02 Oct 2020]. Available from: URL:


Veeva ID: Z4-30952

Date of Prep: February 2021