What Lifestyle Factors Best Predict CKD?

Certain modifiable risk factors can predict the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to the results of a recent study.

“Despite increasing incidence of CKD, no evidence-based lifestyle recommendations for CKD primary prevention apparently exist,” the authors wrote.

To address this, they conducted an evaluation of data from 104 studies of 2,755,719 adults without CKD at baseline which reported on lifestyle factors including diet, exercise, and alcohol and tobacco use.

Overall, they found that higher dietary potassium and higher vegetable intake were associated with significantly decreased odds of CKD (odds ratio [OR] 0.78; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.65 to 0.94 and OR 0.79; 95% CI 0.70 to 0.90, respectively) and higher salt intake was associated with significantly higher odds of CKD (OR 1.21; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.38).

Further, physical activity vs sedentary lifestyle was associated with lower odds of CKD, (OR 0.82; 95% CI 0.69 to 0.98) while current and former smoker status, compared with never smokers, was associated with increased odds (OR 1.18; 95% CI 1.10 to 1.27). Moderate consumption of alcohol was associated with a reduced risk of CKD (relative risk 0.86; 95% CI 0.79 to 0.93) when compared with no consumption.

“These findings identify modifiable lifestyle factors that consistently predict the incidence of CKD in the community and may inform both public health recommendations and clinical practice,” the researchers concluded.

—Michael Potts


Kelly JT, Su G, Zhang L, et al. Modifiable Lifestyle factors for primary prevention of CKD: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JASN. 2021;32(1):239-253. DOI: