Risk of acute renal failure in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Diabet Med. 2012 May;29(5):614-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2011.03498.x.


Aims: Progressive decline in renal function has been well described in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus, but few studies have assessed the risk of acute renal failure in a large population of patients with Type 2 diabetes. This study quantified the risk of acute renal failure associated with Type 2 diabetes in the General Practice Research Database from the UK.

Methods: Patients with Type 2 diabetes (n = 119,966) and patients without diabetes (n = 1,794,516) were identified in the General Practice Research Database. Patients with end-stage renal disease were excluded. Crude incidence and multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios of acute renal failure were estimated for patients with diabetes relative to those without diabetes. Cox regression models were adjusted for a variety of comorbidities. Increase of acute renal failure risk resulting from additive effects of specific co-morbidities with Type 2 diabetes was also assessed.

Results: Between 2003 and 2007, acute renal failure incidence was 198 per 100,000 person-years in patients with Type 2 diabetes compared with 27 per 100,000 patients-years among patients without diabetes (crude hazard ratio 8.0, 95% CI 7.4-8.7). Risk of acute renal failure for patients with Type 2 diabetes remained significant, but was attenuated in multivariate analyses adjusting for various comorbidities (adjusted hazard ratio 2.5, 95% CI 2.2-2.7). Age and specific comorbidities (chronic kidney disease, hypertension and congestive heart failure) were also associated with increased risk of acute renal failure in Type 2 diabetes.

Conclusions: Patients with Type 2 diabetes have increased risk for acute renal failure compared with patients without diabetes, even after adjustment for known risk factors, particularly in the elderly and those with other comorbidities such as chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure and hypertension.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / epidemiology*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / physiopathology
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / complications*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists