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An estimated 13% of Americans have kidney disease. We sought to describe the association of kidney disease with risk of venous thromboembolism and discuss possible mechanisms explaining this association.All severities of kidney disease appear to increase the risk of venous thromboembolism. In the general population the risk associated with mild to moderate kidney disease is 1.3–2-fold increased, and present even for microalbuminuria, although stage 1 chronic kidney disease itself has not been studied. End-stage renal disease is also associated with a 2.3-fold increased risk, compared to the general population. Although data are limited, risk increases after kidney transplant and with nephrotic syndrome as well.Rates of kidney disease are increasing rapidly in the population and kidney disease is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism. An improved understanding of mechanisms linking kidney disease with venous thromboembolism will allow further study of best prevention efforts.