Aims/hypothesis: Indo-Asian immigrants in The Hague, The Netherlands, have a nearly 40-fold higher risk of end-stage diabetic nephropathy compared to the Caucasian population. To detect a genetic susceptibility for nephropathy within the Indo-Asian population, we assessed whether familial clustering of nephropathy occurs in families of Indo-Asian Type 2 diabetic patients.
Methods: We compared nephropathy prevalence between two groups of first-degree relatives of Indo-Asian patients with Type 2 diabetes; the first group (case relatives) consisted of 169 relatives of patients with end-stage diabetic nephropathy; the second group (control relatives) consisted of 161 relatives of diabetic patients who had no nephropathy. The case and control relatives were examined for diabetes, blood pressure, renal function, microalbuminuria and urine dipstick measurements.
Results: The mean age was 41 years and similar in the case and control relatives. Diabetes was distributed equally in both family groups. We did not find more nephropathy in first-degree relatives of Indo-Asian Type 2 diabetic patients with end-stage diabetic nephropathy in comparison with the control-relatives.
Conclusion/interpretation: We could not detect a genetic susceptibility for diabetic nephropathy within the Indo-Asian population. The lack of familial clustering of renal disease in Indo-Asian diabetic patients points to a general genetic or environmental susceptibility for diabetic nephropathy in this population.