Hypertensive Kidney Disease: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/24/2021

Hypertensive kidney disease refers to damage to the kidneys caused by chronic, or long-term, high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure is one of the main causes of kidney failure. Most people with high blood pressure do not have symptoms. Like high blood pressure, early kidney disease often does not produce symptoms.

In later stages, hypertensive kidney disease leads to the characteristic signs and symptoms of kidney dysfunction and sometimes, kidney failure. Associated symptoms and signs can include

  • worsening blood pressure,
  • decrease in amount of urine or difficulty urinating,
  • edema (fluid retention) that is most pronounced in the lower legs, and
  • a need to urinate more often, especially at night.

Keeping blood pressure under control with lifestyle modifications and medications can help prevent kidney disease.

Causes of Hypertensive Kidney Disease

Long-term high blood pressure causes hypertensive kidney disease.

Other hypertensive kidney disease symptoms and signs

  • Decrease in Amount of Urine or Difficulty Urinating
  • Edema (Fluid Retention) That Is Most Pronounced in the Lower Legs
  • Needing to Urinate More Often, Especially at Night
  • Worsening Blood Pressure


The only purpose of the kidneys is to filter blood. See Answer

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.