Insights into end-stage renal disease have emerged from many investigations but less is known about the epidemiology of chronic renal insufficiency (CRI) and its relationship to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study was established to examine risk factors for progression of CRI and CVD among CRI patients and develop models to identify high-risk subgroups, informing future treatment trials, and increasing application of preventive therapies. CRIC will enroll approximately 3000 individuals at seven sites and follow participants for up to 5 yr. CRIC will include a racially and ethnically diverse group of adults aged 21 to 74 yr with a broad spectrum of renal disease severity, half of whom have diagnosed diabetes mellitus. CRIC will exclude subjects with polycystic kidney disease and those on active immunosuppression for glomerulonephritis. Subjects will undergo extensive clinical evaluation at baseline and at annual clinic visits and via telephone at 6 mo intervals. Data on quality of life, dietary assessment, physical activity, health behaviors, depression, cognitive function, health care resource utilization, as well as blood and urine specimens will be collected annually. (125)I-iothalamate clearances and CVD evaluations including a 12-lead surface electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, and coronary electron beam or spiral CT will be performed serially. Analyses planned in CRIC will provide important information on potential risk factors for progressive CRI and CVD. Insights from CRIC should lead to the formulation of hypotheses regarding therapy that will serve as the basis for targeted interventional trials focused on reducing the burden of CRI and CVD.