Kidney Failure Risk Calculator

Created by Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Steven Wooding
Based on research by
Tangri N, Stevens LA, Griffith J, et al. A Predictive Model for Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease to Kidney Failure. JAMA (April 2011)
Last updated: Jun 01, 2022

In need of a kidney failure risk calculator? You've come to the best possible place - we'll cover all the essential details regarding the kidney failure risk equation (KFRE) and discuss risk factors for kidney disease and failure. 🚰

Still want to know more? Our kidney failure calculator enumerates the signs of kidney failure and the most common causes of renal dysfunction - so that you can get a complete view of this complicated subject!

What is renal failure?

We can describe renal (kidney) failure as the end-stage, final level of kidney insufficiency - kidneys cannot perform their functions properly anymore. This process might be quick (this type of failure is called acute) or last for an extended period, leading to inevitable kidney deterioration (chronic renal failure).

📃 If the kidneys don't work, the patient experiences a variety of problems, including:

  • Dark, dry, itchy skin;
  • Swelling of different body parts;
  • Shortness of breath (due to the accumulation of fluid around lungs and guts);
  • Muscle cramps, paralysis;
  • Vomiting, nausea; and
  • Weight loss.

What are the risks of kidney failure?

Risks of renal failure include:

No matter the causes of kidney failure, the end of the story is always the same; a patient must attend dialysis treatment or undergo a kidney transplant.

What's next?

Regular dialysis is performed 3-4 days a week and lasts 4-5 hours per single treatment. Some patients, especially children, may be prescribed peritoneal dialysis, which can be performed at home.

Want to find out more about the process of dialysis? Discover our advanced dialysis tools:

How to use the kidney failure risk calculator?

  1. How to interpret the results? 🗺️

    When you already know the full kidney risk score (total number of points gained in all categories), our calculator will display the probability of kidney failure within five years. This value will be given as a percentage (%).

    My probability is equal to 50%; what does it mean?

    Statistically, 1 out of 2 people with your score will develop kidney failure within the next five years - we can't tell whether it'll happen next year or in 4 years.

    However, please remember that all these equations are only estimations and the real-time to renal failure might be different. We always need to consider the presence of other risk factors for renal failure.

  2. What exactly do we measure? 🤔

Our kidney failure tool operates on a few crucial determinants of the poor kidney function - we will quickly describe each of them.

  • Age - our kidney's function decreases with age. It's a natural process, and we're not able to stop it completely.

  • Sex - men are more prone to factors that impair the kidney's function, such as hypertension or atherosclerosis. Bonus: some studies indicate that females' and males' kidneys work differently, which may facilitate women's adaptation to pregnancy.

  • Albumin creatinine ratio informs us about the amount of albumin excreted in urine. If the ratio is too high, that indicates there are some problems with the kidney filtration process.

  • GFR or the pediatric GFR - a measure of filtration abilities and overall function of our kidneys; the greater the value, the better. Values under 15 mL/min/1.73m² force us to prepare the patient for the dialysis treatment.

  • Serum albumin - if our kidneys excrete proteins, instead of keeping them in our body, a deficit of albumin appears (and so does edema). We can measure it using a simple blood sample.

  • Bicarbonates or HCO3- - particles that play a major part in acid-base regulation in our blood. Kidneys excrete or keep bicarbonates in our bloodstream - this allows them to control the acidity of our body. Extraordinary low level of bicarbonates is another sign of renal failure.

  • Calcium - an important mineral; its level is lowered in the chronic kidney disease.

  • Phosphorus - its level rises when the kidneys fail.

Still hungry for knowledge? Check out our other kidney-related tools:

How to calculate the kidney failure risk?

We'll be using the kidney failure risk equation that looks as follows:

Total number = Age + Sex + Albumin/creatinine ratio + eGFR + Albumin + Bicarbonate + Calcium + Phosphorus

  1. To obtain the total number, you need to add all the points gained in all the categories enumerated in the table below, following the equation above.

  2. When you already computed all the points and added them up, check how your result corresponds with the 5-year-probability of renal failure, using the second table named "Convert points to 5-years kidney failure probability", located at the very bottom of this page. ⤵️

You can read more about the meaning of the results and the specific variables used in the calculation in the section above.

Age, yearsno. of points
Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio, mg/g
eGFR, mL/min/1.73m²
Serum albumin, g/dL
2.6-3 00
Serum bicarbonate, mEq/L
Serum calcium, mg/dL
Serum phosphorus, mg/dL

All ready?

Convert points to 5-years kidney failure probability:

Total numberProbabilityTotal numberProbability

Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate
Albumin-to-creatinine ratio
<30 mg/g
Kidney failure risk score
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