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Nephrosclerosis is a progressive disease of the kidneys that results from sclerosis of the small blood vessels in the kidneys. It is most commonly associated with hypertension or diabetes and can lead to kidney failure. This condition is caused by hypertension. Hypertension can be present in a person for 20 to 30 years without evidence of kidney involvement; such individuals usually die of other effects of hypertension such as congestion of blood in the heart, hardening of the heart tissue, or cerebral haemorrhage.