Nephrotic syndrome risk factors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mehrian Jafarizade, M.D [2]


Multiple risk factors may be involved in the nephrotic syndrome, such as family history, gender, and obesity. Also, diseases such as Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, viral diseases, and medications such as lithium, D-penicillamine can be risk factors for developing different types of nephrotic syndromes.

Risk factors

Risk factors of nephrotic syndrome depend on the type of syndromes, as below:

Common risk factors

Risk factors of development of minimal change disease include:[1]

The following are considered risk factors for the development of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS):[3]

  • Male gender
  • Black race
  • Family history
  • Heroin abuse
  • Drugs known to be associated with FSGS
  • Chronic viral infection
  • Single kidney status
  • Obesity

Less common risk factors

Below conditions and toxins can be a risk factor for nephrotic syndrome[4]

Drug Induced


  1. Iijima, Kazumoto; Hamahira, Kiyoshi; Tanaka, Ryojiro; Kobayashi, Akiko; Nozu, Kandai; Nakamura, Hajime; Yoshikawa, Norishige (2002). "Risk factors for cyclosporine-induced tubulointerstitial lesions in children with minimal change nephrotic syndrome". Kidney International. 61 (5): 1801–1805. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1755.2002.00303.x. ISSN 0085-2538.
  2. Vivarelli M, Massella L, Ruggiero B, Emma F (February 2017). "Minimal Change Disease". Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 12 (2): 332–345. doi:10.2215/CJN.05000516. PMC 5293332. PMID 27940460.
  3. Sohal, DS; Prabhakar, SS (November 02, 2011). "Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis" (PDF). Interchopen. InTech. Retrieved 3 December 2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. Eddy AA, Symons JM (2003). "Nephrotic syndrome in childhood". Lancet. 362 (9384): 629–39. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(03)14184-0. PMID 12944064.