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Everyone knows that elevated sugar levels and long-time type 1 diabetes are risk factors for kidney disease. But now researchers have learned that high blood pressure, high lipid levels, and male gender are also risk factors for renal failure.
To discover this, Berlin researchers analyzed data from 27,805 patients who were diagnosed with diabetes at an average of ten years old and were last seen at an average of sixteen years old; all were followed for about two-and-a-half years. Most of the children ended up having normal urine test results, but 919 had low levels of protein in their urine, 78 had high levels of protein, and 203 had end-stage renal disease.
Low levels of urine protein were associated with longer diabetes duration and elevated glucose, as expected, but also with elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol and high blood pressure, as well as male gender. When the researchers looked forty years into the future, their calculations told them that a quarter of the children would eventually have protein in their urine and 9.4 percent would have end stage kidney failure.
The researchers emphasized that based upon their findings, early detection and treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol are mandatory for people with type 1, no matter how young.
Sources: Reuters; Diabetes Care, November 2007
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