Preventing kidney disease in diabetes may prolong life

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One in every 10 Americans has diabetes, and a third or more of those with the condition will develop kidney disease. That means almost 3 percent of Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease.

It may be possible to live a long and healthy life with diabetes, but once kidney disease develops, the risk of dying prematurely increases significantly.

The findings have significant clinical implications for the prevention and treatment of kidney disease in people with diabetes.

The researchers examined 10-year mortality rates in 15,046 US adults. Kidney disease was present in 9.4% and 42.3% of individuals without and with type 2 diabetes, respectively.

Among the major findings:

– Among people without diabetes or kidney disease, 10-year mortality was 7.7%.
– Among individuals with diabetes but without kidney disease, mortality was 11.5%.
– Among individuals with both diabetes and kidney disease, mortality was 31.1%.

“People with type 2 diabetes have many other risk factors for heart disease and mortality, so we expected that kidney disease would predict a part, but not a majority, of higher mortality associated with type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Maryam Afkarian, MD, PhD (University of Washington).

She noted that the findings have important implications.

First, among people with type 2 diabetes, the subgroup with kidney disease carries most of the mortality risk, so targeting intensive risk factor modification on this subgroup is likely to have the highest impact on overall mortality of people with diabetes.

Secondly, preventing kidney disease may be a powerful way of reducing mortality in people with diabetes.

Source: American Society of Nephrology, USA

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