The role of gender in the progression of renal disease

Sharon R. Silbiger, Joel Neugarten

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


The rate of progression of certain renal diseases in animals is greater in men than in women. In various animal models of renal disease, investigators have concluded that the presence of testosterone explains the worse course in men compared with women, whereas in other diseases, estrogen seems to confer protection for women. The gender disparity in renal disease progression found in animals is seen in certain human renal diseases, including chronic renal disease, membranous nephropathy, immunoglobin A nephropathy, and polycystic kidney disease. In humans, the differences between the genders in renal disease progression cannot be fully explained by differences in blood pressure or serum cholesterol levels. The underlying mechanisms for this gender disparity are potentially related to differences between the sexes in glomerular structure, glomerular hemodynamics, diet, variations in the production and activity of local cytokines and hormones, and/or the direct effect of sex hormones on kidney cells. Further investigation into the contribution of gender to renal disease progression may aid us in developing strategies for slowing this pathological process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Renal Replacement Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Androgens
  • Estrogen
  • Gender
  • Progression of renal disease
  • Renal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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