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Update on renal disease in diabetic patients in primary care

David Morris details complications in the kidneys that diabetes can cause, and how best to manage them

Diabetic nephropathy consists of renal damage attributable to diabetes and is one of the causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD). It is characterised by the findings of proteinuria and a fall in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) – alongside retinopathy and neuropathy, CKD represents a microvascular complication of diabetes.

Diabetic nephropathy is the most common cause of end-stage renal failure (ESRF) both in the UK and worldwide.1 It also carries significant adverse cardiovascular implications.2 Importantly, early recognition provides the opportunity to halt progression of diabetic nephropathy and reduce the risk of complications.

The scale of the problem

People with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are at risk of nephropathy and the prevalence is rising rapidly in line with the dramatic increase in Type 2 diabetes globally.

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