A study with 15,362 diabetic patients defined kidney disease risk in diabetic patients. It is general knowledge for a long time that diabetic patients are at risk to develop diabetic nephropathy.
Kidney disease risk in diabetic patients, study design
In this study researchers followed patients who had triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL and HDL levels below 130 mg/dL for 4 years. The researchers found that both variables were independent risk factors to worsen kidney function in these diabetic patients. In other words, diabetic patients with triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL were at a 26% higher risk to develop nephropathy. Also, if the HDL levels were below 130 mg/dL these diabetic patients had a 27% increased risk to develop diabetic nephropathy. Both were independent risk factors.
Specifically all of the 15,362 patients had normal kidney function in the beginning of the study. Researchers measured glomerular filtration rate to determine a baseline kidney function in these patients. The investigators followed various subgroups of patients for 4 years and remeasured the glomerular filtration rate at the end of the four year span. Two of the subgroups stood out, namely the group with high triglycerides and the group that had a decreased level of HDL .
Other risk factors for kidney disease in diabetics
Physicians knew before that increased triglycerides and decreased HDL levels are risk factors for atherosclerotic changes in blood vessels. Kidneys are particularly sensitive to atherosclerotic changes in the capillaries of the glomeruli, the filtration devices of the kidneys.
There are other factors that can also cause kidney disease in diabetics. Your risk is higher risk, the higher the fasting blood sugar values are. Also, if your blood pressure is abnormally high, there is a higher risk for kidney disease. Smoking puts you into a higher risk category. Other risk factors are when you do not follow your diabetic diet plan or you eat foods that are high in salt. A lack of exercise, being overweight or obese and having heart disease are other independent risk factors to develop kidney disease. Finally another independent risk factor is a family history of kidney failure.
It has been known for some time that there are independent risk factors for diabetic patients to develop kidney disease. A study that observed a large population of diabetics discovered two independent new risk factors. Patients with high triglyceride values are at a higher risk to develop kidney disease. On the other hand patients with low HDL cholesterol levels also have a higher risk of developing this condition. It is likely that both of these factors develop in the small capillaries of the kidneys. Specifically, both factors likely accelerated arteriosclerotic changes in the capillaries of the glomeruli, the filtration units of the kidneys.
Kidney disease risk in diabetic patients can also come from overconsumption of sugar, which raises triglycerides. Diabetic patients should refrain from eating sugar and too many starchy foods. Also, we know that low HDL levels are associated with a lack of exercise. As exercise increases HDL levels, diabetic patients would benefit from regular exercise. Even with risk factors, some lifestyle corrections can assist in the prevention of kidney disease.