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Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure. Info on diabetes kidney disease complications - diagnosis, causes, treatments and diabetes and kidney failure.

Contents:

 

The Burden of Kidney Failure

Each year in the United States, more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with kidney failure, a serious condition in which the kidneys fail to rid the body of wastes. Kidney failure is the final stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, accounting for nearly 44 percent of new cases. Even when diabetes is controlled, the disease can lead to CKD and kidney failure. Most people with diabetes do not develop CKD that is severe enough to progress to kidney failure. Nearly 24 million people in the United States have diabetes, and nearly 180,000 people are living with kidney failure as a result of diabetes.

People with kidney failure undergo either dialysis, an artificial blood-cleaning process, or transplantation to receive a healthy kidney from a donor. Most U.S. citizens who develop kidney failure are eligible for federally funded care. In 2005, care for patients with kidney failure cost the United States nearly $32 billion.

Pie chart showing the primary causes of kidney failure in the United States in 2005

Source: United States Renal Data System. USRDS 2007 Annual Data Report.

African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics/Latinos develop diabetes, CKD, and kidney failure at rates higher than Caucasians. Scientists have not been able to explain these higher rates. Nor can they explain fully the interplay of factors leading to kidney disease of diabetes—factors including heredity, diet, and other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure. They have found that high blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose increase the risk that a person with diabetes will progress to kidney failure.

1United States Renal Data System. USRDS 2007 Annual Data Report. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2007.

2National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. National Diabetes Statistics, 2007. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008.


 

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Last Updated: 09 March 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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