Chronic kidney disease is a major health problem across the globe. Early intervention is the most effective way to reduce the economic burden of chronic kidney disease. The best way to intervene early is to identify people with both defined and newly defined risk factors of chronic kidney disease. High blood pressure and diabetes are the well-defined risk factors for kidney disease. Let us try to understand the newly defined risk factors for chronic kidney disease.

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder. People with sleep apnea start and stop breathing intermittently during sleep. This is mainly seen in obese individuals. In obstructive sleep apnea, the throat muscles relax and block the airway, obstructing air entry and causing oxygen deficiency during sleep. Snoring is the major sign of sleep apnea. In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea is a risk factor for CKD.

Intermittent hypoxia (oxygen deficiency) due to OSA can lead to high blood pressure – which is a major risk factor for kidney disease. On the other hand, people with end-stage kidney disease – who are on dialysis, have been shown to have increasing sleep apnea severity.

Sleep Apnea and Diabetes

Increasing evidence has shown the association between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes [2].

The development of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) as a complication of diabetes is a major health concern across the globe. It is a major complication and leading cause of kidney failure and dialysis worldwide.

Heart Rate and Kidney Disease

Heart rate as a risk factor for CKD: Studies have shown that  people with higher heart rates had decreasing GFR and a high risk of developing protein leak in urine

Any amount of protein in urine will lead to worsening kidney functions.

Periodontal diseases

Periodontitis is a severe form of dental infection caused by bacteria . Periodontal disease causes swelling and  bleeding of gums, and tooth loss. This dental disease has been defined as a risk factor for chronic kidney disease (CKD) [3]. Patients who suffer from this chronic dental disease have a severe inflammatory response.

Uric Acid Levels and Kidney Disease

Elevated uric acid levels have been shown to increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by two to three fold.

Some studies show that gout and high uric acid may harm the kidneys. It’s very important to treat your gout early to protect your kidneys from more harm. You will need to change your diet and also may need medication to reduce your uric acid levels to protect your kidneys.

Bottom Line

Chronic kidney disease is a major health problem worldwide. Better awareness and understanding of the major risk factors and timely screening of high-risk populations ensure early detection of kidney disease. Initiating appropriate treatment for modifiable risk factors for chronic kidney disease can ensure prevention of kidney disease.



  1. Lin CH, Perger E, Lyons OD. Obstructive sleep apnea and chronic kidney disease. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2018 Nov;24(6):549-554. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000525. PMID: 30239379.

2.     Kazancioğlu R. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease: an update. Kidney Int Suppl (2011). 2013

Dec;3(4):368-371. doi: 10.1038/kisup.2013.79. PMID: 25019021; PMCID: PMC4089662