About Diabetic Kidney Disease1-4

Diabetic Nephropathy

Kidney disease (nephropathy) has been recognized as a common complication of diabetes since the 1950s.  Up to 50% of patients who have had diabetes for more than 20 years have this complication. It is estimated that up to 12 million people in the U.S. and up to 215 million people worldwide have diabetic kidney disease.

Currently, diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease in the United States and other Western societies. It is also one of the most significant long-term complications in terms of morbidity and mortality for individual patients with diabetes. Diabetes is responsible for 30-40% of all end-stage renal disease (ESRD) cases in the United States.

High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) has been shown to be a major determinant of the progression of diabetic nephropathy, so good blood glucose control is a key to management of the condition. As with other kidney diseases, there are no renal-specific drug therapies. Control of blood pressure using ACE inhibitors and ARBs is standard of care.

Prognosis is poor in patients with diabetic nephropathy.  Proteinuria is a predictor of morbidity and mortality. Patients with proteinuria have a 40-fold higher relative mortality rate. Microalbuminuria independently predicts cardiovascular morbidity, and microalbuminuria and macroalbuminuria (spillage of the protein, albumin into the urine) increase mortality from any cause in diabetes mellitus.

There is a significant unmet need for effective diabetic nephropathy-specific treatments that can delay disease progression, prevent end-stage renal disease, and improve patients’ quality of life.


  1. American Diabetes Association Website
  2. World Health Organization Website
  3. Gheith O, et al: Diabetic kidney disease: world wide difference of prevalence and risk factors. J Nephropharmacol. 2016; 5(1): 49–56
  4. Batuman V, et al: Diabetic Nephrolpathy. Medscape, updated 5/3/18