Diabetic renal disease in African Americans

Am J Med Sci. 2002 Feb;323(2):78-84. doi: 10.1097/00000441-200202000-00004.


Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the No. 1 cause of end-stage renal disease in the United States and is highly prevalent in African Americans. Almost all DN in African Americans is caused by type 2 diabetes. Glycemic control and control of blood pressure are essential to prolong renal survival and to protect against cardiovascular events. Among African Americans, diabetic nephropathy seems to affect women more than men, which may be related to increased rates of obesity and diabetes in African American women. In addition to gender, the development of albuminuria, family history, and possibly birth weight are factors that predict progression of renal disease in African Americans with DN. The impact of glycemic control, appropriate antihypertensives, and the optimal level of blood pressure control in African Americans with advanced DN require further study. This article will review the clinical characteristics, risk factors, predictors of disease progression, and treatment of diabetic nephropathy in African Americans.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / ethnology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / therapy
  • Diet
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Calcium Channel Blockers