-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Despite major advances in
kidney care over the last two decades, type 1 diabetes patients
with kidney dysfunction still have high rates of kidney failure and
heart-related death, researchers have found.
The findings show that more effective treatments are needed for
these patients, according to the authors of the new study.
One-third of type 1 diabetes patients develop macroalbuminuria,
a condition where high amounts of protein are lost through the
urine. These patients are at increased risk for kidney failure
(end-stage renal disease) and death from heart-related causes, the
researchers explained in a news release from the American Society
The new study included 423 white patients with type 1 diabetes
who developed macroalbuminuria and were enrolled in the study
between 1991 and 2004. Most of the patients (98 percent) were
followed through 2008.
During the follow-up, 172 patients developed end-stage renal
disease, and 70 of these patients died. Another 29 study
participants died before developing end-stage renal disease.
Between 1991 and 2008, more patients received treatments to
protect their kidneys (treatments increased from 56 percent to 82
percent) and significant improvements were noted in patients' blood
pressure and cholesterol levels. However, the risks for both
end-stage disease and death before developing end-stage disease did
not change over the study period.
The investigators also found that patients who had kidney
transplants before they had to start dialysis were less likely to
"Our findings clearly indicate that the accomplishments in treatment of patients with type 1 diabetes and macroalbuminuria over the last 20 years are not effective enough, and more effective therapies to retard progression to end-stage renal disease are desperately needed," study author Dr. Andrzej Krolewski, of the Joslin Diabetes Center and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said in the news release.
"New therapies need to be developed including more aggressive or experimental protocols to stop or retard declining renal function, which leads to end-stage renal disease," Krolewski added.
The study was released online in advance of publication in an
upcoming print issue of the
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
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