Diabetic nephropathy and its risk factors in a society with a type 2 diabetes epidemic: a Saudi National Diabetes Registry-based study

PLoS One. 2014 Feb 21;9(2):e88956. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088956. eCollection 2014.


Aims: The prevalence of diabetic nephropathy and its risk factors have not been studied in a society known to have diabetes epidemic like Saudi Arabia. Using a large data base registry will provide a better understanding and accurate assessment of this chronic complication and its related risk factors.

Methodology: A total of 54,670 patients with type 2 diabetes aged ≥ 25 years were selected from the Saudi National Diabetes Registry (SNDR) and analyzed for the presence of diabetic nephropathy. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) criterion was used to identify cases with microalbuminuria, macroalbuminuria and end stage renal disease (ESRD) for prevalence estimation and risk factor assessment.

Results: The overall prevalence of diabetic nephropathy was 10.8%, divided into 1.2% microalbuminuria, 8.1%macroalbuninuria and 1.5% ESRD. Age and diabetes duration as important risk factors have a strong impact on the prevalence of diabetic nephropathy, ranging from 3.7% in patients aged 25-44 years and a duration of >5 years, to 21.8% in patients ≥ 65 years with a diabetes duration of ≥ 15 years. Diabetes duration, retinopathy, neuropathy, hypertension, age >45 years, hyperlipidemia, male gender, smoking, and chronologically, poor glycemic control has a significantly high risk for diabetic nephropathy.

Conclusion: The prevalence of diabetic nephropathy is underestimated as a result of a shortage of screening programs. Risk factors related to diabetic nephropathy in this society are similar to other societies. There is thus an urgent need for screening and prevention programs for diabetic nephropathy among the Saudi population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Albuminuria / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors

Grant support

This project was funded by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). The funder had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.