Chronic kidney disease

Our aim is to help prevent, slow and treat disease progression, while addressing life-threatening complications

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive disease that can eventually lead to kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Worldwide, an estimated 200 million people are affected by CKD. As many as two out of three cases of CKD are caused by diabetes and high blood pressure.1,2


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

Chronic kidney disease patients struggle on a daily basis due to physical and emotional difficulties. The progressive nature of CKD alongside the knowledge that no cure exists can often be a challenging journey for both patients and loved ones.17

Today, progression of the disease might be slowed, but dialysis is possibly looming on the horizon. People living with chronic kidney disease gradually lose kidney function but may not know they even have the disease until later stages.18 As kidney function continues to decline, patients face an increased risk of developing other complications, including anaemia and hyperkalaemia.19-21


of stage 5 chronic kidney disease patients have anaemia in the US19

Up to 2 of 3

chronic kidney disease cases are caused by diabetes and high blood pressure2

35.8 million

healthy years of life were lost globally due to disability caused by CKD in 201723


of patients with chronic kidney disease may at some stage be affected by hyperkalaemia14

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 the progression and managing serious complications after diagnosis as some patients advance towards end-stage renal disease.


Our people

With chronic kidney disease affecting an estimated 200 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. Ojo A. Addressing the global burden of chronic kidney disease through clinical and translational research. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2014;125:229-43; discussion 243-6.
  2. National Kidney Foundation. Kidney Disease: The Basics. Available from: URL: [Accessed 11 March 2019].
  3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Kidney Disease Statistics for the United States: National Institutes of Health. Available from: URL: [Accessed 28 August 2018].
  4. 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.
  5. O'Mara NB. Anemia in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease. Diabetes Spectrum 2008; 21(1):12–9.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. National Kidney Foundation. Managing Anemia: When You Have Kidney Disease or Kidney Failure. 2014. Available from URL: [Accessed 11 March 2019].
  10. National Kidney Foundation. Anemia and Chronic Kidney Disease. Available from URL:
  11. KDOQI. Clinical practice guidelines and clinical practice recommendations for anemia in chronic kidney disease. Am J Kidney Dis. 2006;47(5 Suppl 3):S1-146.
  12. National Kidney Foundation. What is Hyperkalemia? 2016. Available from URL: [Accessed 11 March 2019].
  13. American Heart Association. Hyperkalaemia (High Potassium). 2017. [Accessed 28 February 2018].
  14. National Kidney Foundation. Clinical Update on Hyperkalaemia. 2014. Available from: [Accessed 20 February 2017].
  15. American Heart Association. Life-Threatening Electrolyte Abnormalities. Circulation. 2005;112:IV-121-IV-125.
  16. Simon LV, Farrell MW. Hyperkalemia. [Updated 2019 Feb 16]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from:
  17. National Health Service. Chronic kidney disease. 2016. Available from: URL: [Accessed 11 March 2019].
  18. National Health Service. Symptoms: Chronic kidney disease; 2016 [cited 20.08.19]. Available from: URL:
  19. Stauffer ME, Fan T. Prevalence of anemia in chronic kidney disease in the United States. PLoS ONE 2014; 9(1):e84943.
  20. 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.
  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. AstraZeneca. 2018. Data on File. REF-47254
  23. Kyu HH, et al. Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 359 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE) for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet. 2018;392(10159):1859–922.
  24. Mccafferty K., et al. The East and NoRth LOndon DIabetes Cohort Study (HEROIC): Rationale, Study Design and Outline Protocol. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, Volume 34, Issue Supplement_1, June 2019, gfz106.FP514,