Obesity and kidney disease in type 1 and 2 diabetes: an analysis of the National Diabetes Audit

QJM. 2013 Oct;106(10):933-42. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hct123. Epub 2013 May 20.


Background: Obesity is increasingly prevalent in many countries. Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes but its relationship with diabetic kidney disease (DKD) remains unclear. Some studies have suggested that the metabolic syndrome (including obesity) may be associated with DKD in type 1 diabetes.

Aim: To investigate the association between obesity and DKD.

Design: Retrospective cross-sectional study.

Methods: National Diabetes Audit data were available for the 2007-08 cycle. Type 1 and 2 diabetes patients with both a valid serum creatinine and urinary albumin:creatinine ratio were included. DKD was defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min/1.73 m(2), albuminuria or both. Logistic regression was used to analyse associations of obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m(2)) and other variables including year of birth, year of diagnosis, ethnicity and stage of kidney disease.

Results: A total of 58 791 type 1 and 733 769 type 2 diabetes patients were included in the analysis. After adjustment, when compared with type 1 diabetes patients with normal renal function those with DKD were up to twice as likely to be obese. Type 2 DKD patients were also more likely to be obese. For example, type 2 diabetes patients with an eGFR <15 ml/min/1.73 m(2) and normoalbuminuria, microalbuminuria or macroalbuminuria were all more likely to be obese; odds ratios (95% CI) 1.65 (1.3-2.1), 1.56 (1.28-1.92) and 1.27 (1.05-1.54), respectively.

Conclusion: This study has highlighted a strong association between obesity and kidney disease in type 1 diabetes and confirmed their association in type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology