Lifestyle Factors that Reduce the Risk of CKD

CKD lifestyle factors

A recent study confirms the importance of lifestyle factors in preventing Chronic Kidney Disease, or CKD. Although lifestyle factor changes have often been identified and prescribed by doctors, this study was significant in that it was able to measure the direct correlation between the two. 

Past recommendations have been made based on other conditions, such as heart disease, or hypertension, which are often comorbid with kidney disease. This study looked at the reported lifestyle factors and conditions recorded in other studies, and examined the correlation between certain factors and the incidence of CKD. They were able to measure the percent of impact for each factor by identifying how changing each can reduce the risk of kidney disease.

While many of the risk factors for CKD are not modifiable, information about the lifestyle factors that contribute to a risk of CKD provides guidance for patients to know what changes they can make.

What is CKD?

Chronic Kidney disease is the gradual decline of kidney function which prevents kidneys from being able to filter waste and fluids from the blood. When kidney disease progresses, it can result in serious health complications and increase the risk for other conditions. 

There are many known risk factors for CKD. Age, genetics, and the existence of other health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes put patients at higher risk for developing kidney disease. Management of these conditions can help prevent the development of kidney disease. 

Doctors can make recommendations for current patients and those at risk to make lifestyle changes to help manage their condition and reduce the risks for CKD.

How Do Lifestyle Factors Contribute to CKD?

There are several lifestyle factors that are associated with the development of CKD. The study highlights the impact of dietary, behavioral, and fitness practices on kidney health.


  • Patients who eat more vegetables have a 21% lower risk
  • Patients who consume more salt have a 21% higher risk
  • Patients who eat foods with more potassium have a 22% lower risk


  • Patients who have a moderate alcohol consumption have a 14% lower risk
  • Smokers or former smokers have a 81% higher risk


  • More physically active patients have an 18% lower risk

Identifying Barriers to Lifestyle Changes

The results of this study provide important information that can guide members of the kidney community in making decisions. These findings can help doctors to know what recommendations to make for patients. They can also educate patients to understand the impact of their lifestyle choices on their risks of CKD. Correct kidney disease nutrition guidelines are essential to help patients know how to manage their kidney disease effectively.

Understanding the association between lifestyle factors and CKD is only one important step. There are many barriers that may make it difficult for patients to make significant changes. These factors are often very influenced by social and cultural aspects. A lifelong smoker may have difficulty quitting if their social contacts all smoke as well. Patients who have economic limitations may find difficulty in having access to better dietary choices.

What Patients and Doctors Can Do

Educating the CKD community about the importance of these factors can help to guide patient-doctor conversation. Patients can work with healthcare professionals to identify challenges to making changes and come up with solutions. 

Healthcare professionals can look for simple and accessible ways for patients to incorporate these into their lives. This can include creating a list of options of high-potassium foods to eat. They can recommend dietary swaps to replace high-sodium foods for other items. They may also be able to advise patients on some easy ways to increase physical activity in the day. They can also point patients to available resources that can help them stop smoking. 

If you are looking for guidance on what lifestyle decisions you should make, talk with your doctor. They can give you personalized kidney disease nutrition and lifestyle recommendations and work with you to meet your health goals.