The association of low birth weight and chronic kidney disease was examined in a screened volunteer population by the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program. This is a free, community-based health program enrolling individuals aged 18 years or older with diabetes, hypertension, or a family history of kidney disease, diabetes, or hypertension. Self-reported birth weight was categorized and chronic kidney disease defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 60 ml per min per 1.73 m(2) or a urine albumin/creatinine ratio >or=30 mg/g. Among 12 364 participants, 15% reported a birth weight less than 2500 g. In men, significant corresponding odds ratios were found after adjustment for demographic characteristics and health conditions to this low birth weight and chronic kidney disease, but there was no association among women. There was no significant interaction between birth weight and race for either gender. Efforts to clinically understand the etiology of this association and potential means of prevention are essential to improving public health.