Assessing the prevalence, monitoring and management of chronic kidney disease in patients with diabetes compared with those without diabetes in general practice

Diabet Med. 2007 Apr;24(4):364-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2007.02075.x. Epub 2007 Feb 28.


Aims: To compare rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients with diabetes and management of risk factors compared with people without diabetes using general practice computer records, and to assess the utility of serum creatinine and albuminuria as markers of impaired renal function.

Methods: The simplified Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equation was used to estimate glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and stage of CKD. Further data were extracted to assess how effectively impaired renal function was being identified and how well potentially modifiable risk factors were being managed. The setting was 17 practices in Surrey, Kent and Greater Manchester (2003-2004). Participants were all patients with serum creatinine (SCr) recorded.

Results: Of the total population of 162 113, 5072 were recorded as having a diagnosis of diabetes, giving a prevalence of 3.1%. Of patients with diabetes, 31% had clinically significant CKD (defined as eGFR < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2); CKD stages 3-5) compared with 6.9% of those without diabetes. Only 33% of patients with diabetes at CKD stage 3 had serum creatinine > 120 micromol/l. Of patients with diabetes with eGFR < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2), 63% had normoalbuminuria. Considering those with eGFR 30-60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2), 42% of people with diabetes were on an ACE inhibitor compared with 25% of those without diabetes; 32% of patients with diabetes who had any record of micro- or macroalbuminuria at CKD stage 3 were taking an ACE inhibitor. Of people with diabetes and hypertension (BP > 140/80 mmHg), 26% were not prescribed any hypertensive medication, regardless of level of CKD.

Conclusions: CKD is common in people with diabetes living in the community in the UK. The study found a similar rate of stage 3-5 CKD to that found previously in the USA. Currently used measures of renal function fail to identify CKD as effectively as eGFR. Risk factors for CKD and its progression are suboptimally managed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / etiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / therapy
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Creatinine