Sex, Gender, and CKD Care

The risk of developing CKD is at least as high in women as in men, and possibly higher. Yet the number of women receiving dialysis is lower than the number of men, and women are more likely to donate kidneys but less likely to receive transplants.

The March 2018 World Kidney Day theme, “Kidneys & Women’s Health: Include, Value, Empower,” aims to shine a light on issues of equitable healthcare access for women with kidney diseases worldwide.

Here, we summarize recent reports providing insights into disparities in CKD care for women in the United States and around the world. We also review basic science findings regarding sex differences in animal models that could lay the groundwork for a variety of preclinical and clinical studies. Investigators are increasingly aware that results found in males do not always hold true in females, and that there are clear differences in the sexes that should be considered when preventing and treating health issues.