For women with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood sugar are two important risk factors that accelerate the progression of end-stage renal disease.
According to a new study published today in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, obesity may have a harmful effect on kidney function in individuals with type 2 diabetes, particularly in women.
High blood pressure and high blood sugar produce diabetic nephropathy, or the degradation of kidney function in diabetics. Chronic kidney disease affects one in every three diabetics, and kidney disease is the ninth main cause of death in the US. Kidney disease advances to end-stage renal disease over time, and individuals with end-stage kidney disease often require a kidney transplant to survive.
“Our research highlights how obesity contributes to the incidence and progression of diabetic nephropathy in people with type 2 diabetes, especially for women,” says Zhi-Hong Liu.
“Managing your blood pressure and blood sugar may not be enough to slow the progression to end stage renal disease, and our study shows how important it is for people with diabetes to also manage their weight.”
The researchers used data from the BioBank Japan Project to assess body mass index data from 158,284 East Asian people. In 3,972 patients with type 2 diabetes, genetic evidence suggested that higher BMI levels were linked to an increased risk of diabetic kidney disease and lower renal filtration rates. Increased protein levels in the urine were not found to be related to body mass index. Obesity and type 2 diabetes were linked to a higher incidence of diabetic kidney damage in women than in males.
“People with diabetes and obesity should have their kidneys checked more often as they are at high risk, and while chronic kidney disease has no cure, early detection and obesity treatment could slow the progression to end-stage kidney disease,” adds Liu.
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