Stress and the kidney

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2015 Jan;22(1):46-53. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2014.06.008.


The prevalence of CKD has increased considerably over the past 2 decades. The rising rates of CKD have been attributed to known comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity; however, recent research has begun to explore the degree to which social, economic, and psychological factors have implications for the prevalence and progression of CKD, especially among high-risk populations such as African Americans. It has been suggested that stress can have implications for CKD, but this area of research has been largely unexplored. One contributing factor associated with the paucity of research on CKD is that many of the social, psychological, and environmental stressors cannot be recreated or simulated in a laboratory setting. Social science has established that stress can have implications for health, and we believe that stress is an important determinant of the development and progression of CKD. We draw heavily from the social scientific and social epidemiologic literature to present an intersectional conceptual frame specifying how stress can have implications for kidney disease, its progression, and its complications through multiple stressors and pathways.

Keywords: Kidney disease; Minority health; Psychological stress; Social determinants of health; Socioeconomic factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • African Americans
  • Age Factors
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / economics
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / ethnology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / etiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • United States / epidemiology