Evaluating the prevalence of kidney damage according to population-based studies in different communities has been limited in developing countries. We conducted a population-based screening study in Uygur people of Urumqi, aiming to identify the prevalence and associated risk factors of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Uygur populations. A total of 2576 residents (>18 years) from four districts of Urumqi were interviewed from June 2007 to January 2009 and tested for haematuria, albuminuria and reduced renal function. Associations between age, gender, smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperuricaemia and kidney damage were examined. There were 2576 subjects enrolled in this study. After age correction, the prevalence of albuminuria, haematuria and reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was 3.58%, 2.26% and 1.03%, respectively. Approximately 5.65% of the sample population had at least one indicator of kidney damage. Age, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesteremia, hyperuricaemia and hyperlipidaemia were independently associated with CKD. In the general Uygur adult population from Urumqi, 5.65% had either proteinuria, haematuria or reduced eGFR, indicating the presence of kidney damage, with an awareness of only 1.05%. The high prevalence and low awareness of CKD in this population suggest an urgent need for CKD prevention programs in Uygur people.