Diabetic nephropathy (DN) affects an estimated 20%-40% of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Key modifiable risk factors for DN are albuminuria, anaemia, dyslipidaemia, hyperglycaemia and hypertension, together with lifestyle factors, such as smoking and obesity. Early detection and treatment of these risk factors can prevent DN or slow its progression, and may even induce remission in some patients. DN is generally preceded by albuminuria, which frequently remains elevated despite treatment in patients with T2DM. Optimal treatment and prevention of DN may require an early, intensive, multifactorial approach, tailored to simultaneously target all modifiable risk factors. Regular monitoring of renal function, including urinary albumin excretion, creatinine clearance and glomerular filtration rate, is critical for following any disease progression and making treatment adjustments. Dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 inhibitors and sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors lower blood glucose levels without additional risk of hypoglycaemia, and may also reduce albuminuria. Further investigation of the potential renal benefits of DPP-4 and SGLT2 inhibitors is underway.
Keywords: Diabetic nephropathy; glomerular filtration rate; incretin; renal impairment; type 2 diabetes.
© The Author(s) 2014.