Stroke is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors - hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia - are related to the incidence of stroke. Chronic kidney disease has also been recognized to be a major public health problem as a cardiovascular risk factor. Growing evidence has suggested that chronic kidney disease is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease including stroke in general populations. Those with chronic kidney disease have a greater prevalence of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Several meta-analyses assessing the association between chronic kidney disease and stroke have found that the magnitude of the risk estimates adjusted for known traditional cardiovascular risk factors were reduced as compared with the age-adjusted risk estimates. While these findings on the surface seem to downplay the effect of chronic kidney disease on stroke, they may actually suggest that an accumulation of traditional cardiovascular risk factors in those with chronic kidney disease increases the risk of stroke, and that applying appropriate treatments to those with chronic kidney disease is important for reducing the risk of stroke. Additionally, other large-scale meta-analyses demonstrated that chronic kidney disease was a significant risk factor for stroke independent of known cardiovascular risk factors. Chronic kidney disease may also be associated with an increase in nontraditional risk factors such as hyperhomocysteinemia, inflammation, asymmetric dimethylarginine, oxidative stress, and anemia, and thrombogenic factors such as left ventricular hypertrophy, endothelial dysfunction, and arterial stiffness. Herein, we review the results of meta-analyses of published cohort studies for a better understanding of the precise nature of the relationship between chronic kidney disease and stroke, important to both the clinical and public health fields. Further studies are warranted to determine whether interventions to prevent the progression of kidney impairment are effective at reducing the risk of stroke.