Max Rady College of Medicine

Term: Renal Disease

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Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2006-10-20


The kidneys are bean-shaped excretory organs. Part of the urinary system, the kidneys filter wastes (especially urea) from the blood and excrete them, along with water, as urine. The adjective meaning "kidney related" is renal, from the Latin. Any diseases that affect the blood vessels, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), can impair the kidneys' ability to filter blood and regulate fluids in the body. Disease and infection in other parts of the body can also trigger a kidney disorder. Because kidney impairment can be life-threatening, disorders and diseases that may affect the kidney deserve prompt attention. Kidney disease often causes no symptoms until late in its course and can lead to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal unless a dialysis machine is used or a kidney transplant is performed. There are more than 100 disorders, diseases, and conditions that can lead to progressive destruction of the kidneys.

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  • Lix L, Yogendran M, Burchill C, Metge C, McKeen N, Moore D, Bond R. Defining and Validating Chronic Diseases: An Administrative Data Approach. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2006. [Report] [Summary] (View)

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Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine,
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences,
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University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5 Canada