Has the time come for age-adapted glomerular filtration rate criteria to define chronic kidney disease: how soon is now?

Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2024 May 1;33(3):318-324. doi: 10.1097/MNH.0000000000000971. Epub 2024 Feb 23.


Purpose of review: The conventional definition of chronic kidney disease (CKD) primarily relies on the identification of albuminuria or a decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). For many years, a straightforward eGFR threshold of <60 ml/min/1.73 m 2 has been widely adopted as the standard for defining CKD. Nonetheless, this criterion fails to consider the natural aging process of the kidney, and this oversight may affect the accurate diagnosis of kidney disease particularly at the extremes of age.

Recent findings: The fixed eGFR threshold of <60 ml/min/1.73 m 2 for defining CKD misses crucial opportunities for risk prevention. Studies have revealed that the eGFR threshold at which the risks for adverse long-term health outcomes such as mortality, cardiovascular events, and kidney failure begin to rise varies substantially by age. Specifically, this threshold is lower for the elderly and higher for young adults. Consequently, this results in the over-diagnosis of kidney disease in the elderly and the under-diagnosis of kidney disease in young adults.

Summary: To address these limitations of the current CKD definition, we discuss a number of proposed age-adapted eGFR criteria and weigh their pros and cons against the current, simple, and universally accepted approach.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Albuminuria / diagnosis
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / diagnosis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / epidemiology
  • Young Adult