THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- For people with type 2 diabetes, the key to living a long and healthy life may lie in avoiding kidney disease, now that new research finds the combination is particularly lethal.
The study found that 10-year mortality rates for people with both type 2 diabetes and kidney disease is more than 31 percent. But for people with only type 2 diabetes, the death rate after a decade was 12 percent. For those with neither condition, the 10-year death rate was about 8 percent.
"We've all been trained to think of type 2 diabetes as a bad thing, but it's particularly bad when you get kidney disease, too," said study author Dr. Maryam Afkarian, a kidney specialist and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle.
On the other hand, "We found that type 2 diabetes may not affect mortality as much if you don't get kidney disease," she said.
Results of the study are published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
People with type 2 diabetes do not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone needed to convert food into energy. In the United States, about 26 million people have diabetes, and the number is growing. Type 2 diabetes has long been associated with an increased risk of death, especially from cardiovascular disease. And kidney disease is common in people with type 2 diabetes.
To better understand how the two diseases behave together, the researchers reviewed 10 years of data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, involving more than 15,000 people. About 42 percent of people with type 2 diabetes had kidney disease, they found.
When the researchers controlled the data to account for factors such as age, sex and body-mass index -- a calculation based on height and weight -- as well as duration of diabetes, the rates of de
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