Advocacy and Public Policy Challenges by the Numbers

Overview of the Kidney Disease Population

  • 73 million 1 in 3 American adults is currently at risk for developing kidney disease
  • 30 million 1 in 9 American adults is estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD), although most don’t know
  • Over 3 million (11%) of Medicare beneficiaries have a diagnosis of CKD, but not kidney failure and many more are estimated to have the disease, but are undiagnosed
  • 703,243 Americans have irreversible kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and require dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive
  • 495,433 ESRD patients receive dialysis at least 3 times per week to replace kidney function
  • 207,810 Americans live with a functioning kidney transplant
  • 99,567 People with ESRD died in 2015
  • 19,848 Americans received a kidney transplant in 2017
    • 29% of those transplants (5,811) were from a living kidney donor
  • 95,466 Americans were on the kidney transplant waiting list as of January 22, 2018
  • 44% of new ESRD patients had a primary diagnosis of diabetes, the leading cause of ESRD
  • 28% of new ESRD patients had a primary diagnosis of hypertension, the second leading cause of ESRD
  • 36% of ESRD patients were cared for by a nephrologist for a year or more prior to their kidney failure
  • 71% of new ESRD patients apply for Medicare

Costs of Kidney Disease in the United States

  • $98 billion Annual Medicare costs to care for people with all stages of CKD, including kidney failure
  • $64 billion Annual Medicare costs to care for people with CKD (stages 1-5), without kidney failure
  • $34 billion Annual Medicare costs to care for people with ESRD
  • $23,146 annual per person Medicare spending on costs to care for someone with CKD (without ESRD), more than double the spending on the average Medicare beneficiary
  • $93,064 Annual Medicare spending on a dialysis patient, per-year
  • $36,389 Annual Medicare spending on a transplant recipient
  • $2,794 Medicare Part B spending on immunosuppressive drugs, per year transplant patient

Updated February 2018

Sources of Facts and Statistics:
United States Renal Data System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Health, United Network of Organ Sharing and Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, CDC National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics