Background: The effect of ethnicity on the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) and associated chronic kidney disease (CKD) is unknown.
Aim: To establish the impact of ethnicity on the prevalence and severity of diabetes mellitus and associated CKD.
Design: Cross-sectional study of 34 359 adult diabetic patients in three primary care trusts in the UK.
Methods: Read coded data from general practice computers was used to analyse the relationship between ethnicity, DM and CKD.
Results: The prevalence of DM was 3.5% for Whites, 11% for South Asians and 8% for Black groups. The prevalence of CKD (stages 3-5) among diabetics was 18%. CKD stage 3 was more prevalent in Whites compared to South Asians--OR 0.79 (95% CI: 0.71-0.87) and Blacks--OR 0.49 (95% CI: 0.43-0.57). Among all CKD patients severity (CKD stages 4, 5) was associated with Black (OR 1.39, 95% CI: 1.06-1.81) and South Asian (OR 1.54, 95% CI: 1.26-1.88) ethnicity compared to Whites. Less than 50% of diabetics with CKD met the target blood pressure (BP) of 130/80 mmHg. The prevalence of a blood pressure > 150/90 mmHg in diabetics with CKD was South Asian 15.6%, White 13.9%, Black 21.8% (P < 0.001). Proteinuria was present in 8.6% of all diabetic patients. However, this increased to 18.6% in patients with CKD, and was more frequent in Black (22.6%) and South Asian (21%) patients compared to White patients (14.1%) (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Significant disparities exist between the major ethnic groups in both disease prevalence and management. Future studies examining the management of CKD need to take variation by ethnicity into account.