To address the highly complex interrelated nature of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, we examined CKD prevalence by the predictive effect of demographic factors, comorbid conditions, and CKD risk factors by using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2004 data. NHANES is a nationally representative cross-sectional series of surveys with a complex stratified multistage sampling design. NHANES 1999-2004 participants (n = 15,332; age > or = 20 years) were interviewed in their homes and asked to participate in standardized medical examinations in mobile centers and provide samples for laboratory tests. Weighted logistic regression modeling was used to assess the importance of individual CKD risk factors. Multiple logistic regressions were performed on patient cohorts, with increasing levels of CKD severity defined by means of estimated glomerular filtration rate. A branching diagram was constructed to address the distribution of CKD grouped by diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease status. CKD prevalence increases with age (39.2% for age > or = 60 years). For ages 20 to 59 years, CKD prevalence was greater for participants with diabetes (33.8%) than for those without diabetes (8.2%) and for participants with both diabetes and hypertension (43%) than for diabetic participants without hypertension (25.5%) or nondiabetic participants with hypertension (15.2%). The prevalence was 6.8% for nondiabetic participants without hypertension. Effects of cardiovascular disease are less dramatic when hypertension and diabetes are considered. A CKD screening approach targeting individuals 60 years and older or those with diabetes or hypertension likely would be useful from a public health standpoint.