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Diabetics Possess Maximum Death Risk from Kidney Disease

Update Date: Jan 25, 2013 03:01 AM EST

Diabetes is a very common health issue worldwide which results from an abnormal level of blood sugar in the body. A diabetic can live a normal lifestyle with a proper diet, exercise and medication. However, according to a recent study, it was found that the premature death risk of a diabetic increases on being affected with kidney disease.

The study was conducted by Maryam Afkarian, M.D, Ph.D., and her colleagues from the University of Washington. The study findings were published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

While previously, controlling the blood sugar level and regulating the diet was a priority in diabetic patients, this study has exhibited the importance of taking measures to prevent the onset of kidney disease and the earliest treatment once the disease is diagnosed.

The study was done to find out the association between premature death and kidney disease, both of which are common for people suffering from diabetes. Almost one in every 10 people in the U.S. suffers from diabetes, so the researchers studied the death rate for 10 years in 15,046 U.S. adults. Of them, 9.4 percent of people without type 2 diabetes had kidney disease, and 42.3 percent with type 2 diabetes had kidney disease. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, where the body does not produce insulin.

The researchers also found that 7.7 percent people died in the 10-year period who were non-diabetic as well as not suffering from kidney disease. The death rate of diabetics without kidney disease was 11.5 percent. However, a huge 31.1 percent of people who had both kidney disease and diabetes died during that decade.

"People with type 2 diabetes have many other risk factors for cardiovascular disease and mortality, so we expected that kidney disease would predict a part, but not a majority, of higher mortality associated with type 2 diabetes. To our surprise, we found that even in the medically complex patients with type 2 diabetes, kidney disease is a very powerful predictor of premature death. First, among people with type 2 diabetes, the subgroup with kidney disease carries most of the mortality risk, so targeting intensive risk factor modification on this subgroup is likely to have the highest impact on overall mortality of people with diabetes. Secondly, preventing kidney disease may be a powerful way of reducing mortality in people with diabetes," Dr. Afkarian was quoted as saying in Medicalxpress.

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