Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have high rates of healthcare utilization, morbidity, and mortality. Increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension suggest that the expected numbers of patients with CKD will rise. Managing the economic and clinical burden of CKD will be a significant challenge for the healthcare system. The burden of CKD can be considered in terms of both CKD-specific and CKD-related morbidity and mortality. CKD-specific complications include anemia and bone disease. CKD-related complications include obesity, diabetes and hypertension. CKD-specific complications tend to occur later in the course of disease and may be best treated by a nephrologist, while CKD-related complications may be most easily treated by primary care physicians. Coordinating patient care is essential to managing the burden of this growing disease.