End‐stage renal failure (ESRF) is a condition in which the kidneys are permanently impaired and can no longer function normally. Some of the main risk factors for end‐stage renal failure include diabetes and hypertension, two conditions which are
becoming more prevalent in OECD countries. In the United States, diabetes and hypertension alone accounted for over 60% of the primary diagnoses for all ESRF patients (37% for diabetes and 24% for hypertension) (USRDS, 2008).
When patients reach end‐stage renal failure, they require treatment either in the form of dialysis or through kidney transplants. Treatment through dialysis tends to be more costly and results in a poorer quality of life for patients than a successful kidney transplant,
because of its recurrent nature.