Diabetes is major risk factor for chronic kidney disease: study

Diabetes is major risk factor for chronic kidney disease: study
By Sara Grosse |
Posted: 25 March 2012 1742 hrs

SINGAPORE: A study conducted in Singapore shows that people with diabetes are much more likely to have chronic kidney disease.

Their risk is increased about three to five times compared to those without diabetes.

The study on diabetes and chronic kidney disease was a collaboration between Singapore General Hospital, Singapore Eye Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Alexandra Hospital, Health Promotion Board and the Ministry of Health.

It was conducted between 2003 and 2007 and involved interviews with over 7,742 subjects.

This may also affect the medications used to treat diabetes in these patients.

As the population ages, the prevalence of chronic kidney disease rises. And one key risk factor is diabetes.

Researchers of the study said that if we got rid of diabetes altogether, there could be up to a 40 per cent reduction in the risk of kidney disease in the population.

But while efforts are ongoing to prevent diabetes, some doctors said in the interim, there’s a need for medications that benefit diabetic patients with chronic kidney disease.

Such as linagliptin – a new diabetics drug that is excreted through the bile and gut, not kidneys.

Professor Anthony Barnett, emeritus professor of medicine, University of Birmingham, UK, said: “In chronic kidney disease related to diabetes, many of the traditional drugs that we use either can’t be used or the dose needs to be adjusted. This drug, linagliptin, can be used at any stage of chronic kidney disease and doesn’t need any dose adjustments.”

According to doctors, patients using the drug would have a low risk of hypoglycaemia and weight gain.

Ultimately, doctors said the best treatment besides taking drugs is lifestyle modification.

These include taking measures to control blood sugar intake, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Associate Professor Tai E Shyong, senior consultant, Division of Endocrinology, National University Hospital, said: “You got to get the diet right, you’ve got to have adequate physical activity. Drugs, by and large, are for when those measures fail.”

Associate Professor Tai also recommends that diabetic patients have blood and urine tests once a year so as to detect kidney disease early.