The kidneys exhibit age-associated deterioration in function via a loss of 20% to 25% kidney mass, particularly from the renal cortex and increased fibrosis. Oxidative stress has been found to mediate age-associated renal cell injury and cell death, particularly apoptosis. Oxidative stress results from an imbalance between the levels of free radicals generated during aerobic metabolism, inflammation, and infection and the safe breakdown of these species by endogenous and exogenous scavengers. Other factors may influence these pathologies. For example, growth hormone and caloric restriction have been shown to influence life span, although neither method of prolonging life is likely to find general acceptance in humans. Some genetic knockout models offer promise; for example, knockout of the p66 isoform of the Shc gene in mice increases life span by 30%, but appetite, size, and fertility are retained. Whether the increase in life span is via increased kidney health is not yet clear, but decreasing the age-related renal pathologies will no doubt aid in increasing life span and health in general. This review looks at the role and modulation of factors that influence life span, in particular modulation of oxidative stress, with particular relevance to age-related renal pathologies.