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Diabetics Less Prone Now to End-Stage Kidney Disease
Date:12/29/2009

Reversing decades-long trend, the rate has dropped nearly 4 percent a year since 1996, study finds ,,,,

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of end-stage kidney disease, one of the most serious complications of diabetes, rose steadily in people with diabetes for decades. But, in 1996, the rate of diabetes-related end-stage kidney disease finally began to decline.

Since that time, the incidence has dropped steadily -- about 3.9 percent a year, a new government study finds.

"The incidence had decreased for all age groups and for both men and women," noted study author Nilka Rios Burrows, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although the study was not designed to find the cause behind the decline, Burrows said that based on other studies, they believe that early detection and treatment of kidney disease in people with diabetes is likely one factor behind the decline. In addition, better control of diabetes and high blood pressure -- especially the use of medications that lower blood pressure and may protect the kidneys as well -- also likely played a role in the decline, she said.

Results of the study will be published in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

Diabetes is a leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), driving about 44 percent of new cases in 2006, according to background information in the study.

"Diabetes isn't just hard on the kidneys. It's really a multi-organ, multi-system disease. But, the kidneys tend to show damage earlier because they function like a sentinel organ," explained Dr. Sheldon C. Chaffer II, an assistant professor in the division of nephrology at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Tex. "High blood sugar causes inflammation and damage to the lining of the small and large blood vessels. The kidneys are a tangle of blood vessels and they utilize about 20 percent of the body's blood supply at
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