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Early, intensive therapy for type 1 diabetes prevented kidney disease in long-term study
Date:11/12/2011

Maintaining good glucose control early in the course of type 1 diabetes could lessen the long-term risk of kidney disease, as measured by a common test of kidney function.

This finding comes from more than two decades of research on preventing life-shortening complications of type 1 diabetes. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the longitudinal study. Results will be published online Nov. 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented Nov. 12 at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week in Philadelphia.

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle and several collaborating institutions in the United States and Canada examined the effects of early, intensive glucose-lowering therapy on glomerular filtration rates (GFR). This measurement estimates how much blood passes each minute through tiny filters in the kidneys. A GFR blood test checks the kidney's ability to rid the body of a muscle-generated waste product, creatinine. If the kidneys can't filter fast enough, the substance builds up in the blood.

A low GFR is a dangerous sign of existing diabetic kidney disease that can progress to kidney failure, also called end-stage kidney disease, which requires dialysis or kidney transplantation. Moreover, a low GFR also can contribute to the heart and blood vessel complications of diabetes, the researchers explained.

People with type 1 diabetes are prone to kidney disease and related complications resulting in disability and premature death. Until this study, no interventions for this population have been shown to prevent impaired GFR.

According to Dr. Ian de Boer, UW assistant professor of medicine, Division of Nephrology, once GFR is impaired, progression to end-stage kidney disease and major blood vessel disease precipitating heart attacks or stroke "occurs at unacceptably high rates, even with optimal medical management."

"This underscores the need to
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Contact: Leila Gray
clareh@uw.edu
206-543-3620
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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