Risk factor control is key in diabetic nephropathy

G. Lewis, A. P. Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


Prolonged duration of diabetes, poor glycaemic control and hypertension are major risk factors for both diabetic nephropathy and cardiovascular disease. Optimising blood sugar control together with excellent control of blood pressure can reduce the risk of developing diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy should be considered in any patient with diabetes when persistent albuminuria develops. Microalbuminuria is the earliest clinically detectable indicator of diabetic nephropathy risk. The majority of patients with diabetic nephropathy are appropriately diagnosed based on elevated urinary albumin excretion and/or reduced 0032-6518 renal function. Patients with type 2 diabetes should have annual urinary ACR measurements from the time of diabetes diagnosis while those with type 1 diabetes should commence five years after diagnosis. Blood pressure lowering to 130/80mmHg and reduction of proteinuria to <1 g/day retards progression of diabetic nephropathy and reduces the number of cardiovascular events. Drugs that block the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) are effective in reducing proteinuria, managing hypertension and reducing cardiovascular risk. Unless there are clear contraindications or intolerance all patients with diabetic nephropathy should be prescribed an ACEI or ARB. Stopping an ACEI or ARB during intercurrent illness or times of volume depletion is critically important. Patients with diabetic nephropathy should have at least yearly measurements of blood pressure, renal function and urinary ACR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalThe Practitioner
Issue number1768
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Diabetic Nephropathies
  • Disease Progression
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Morbidity
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Management

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