Diabetes mellitus is a strong risk factor for chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. Whether sex differences in chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease incidence exist among diabetic patients remains unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the relative effect of diabetes on chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease risk in women compared with men. We systematically searched Embase, PubMed, and the Cochrane Library for both cohort and case-control studies until October 2015. Studies were selected if they reported a sex-specific relationship between diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease. We generated pooled estimates across studies using random-effects meta-analysis after log transformation with inverse variance weighting. Ten studies with data from more than 5 million participants were included. The pooled adjusted risk ratio of chronic kidney disease associated with diabetes mellitus was 3.34 (95 % CI 2.27, 4.93) in women and 2.84 (95 % CI 1.73, 4.68) in men. The data showed no difference in diabetes-related chronic kidney disease risk between the sexes (pooled adjusted women-to-men relative risk ratio was 1.14 [95 % CI 0.97, 1.34]) except for end-stage renal disease-the pooled adjusted women-to men relative risk ratio was 1.38 (95 % CI 1.22, 1.55; p = 0.114, I² = 38.1 %). The study found no evidence of a sex difference in the association between diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease. However, the excess risk for end-stage renal disease was higher in women with diabetes than in men with the same condition, from which we assume that the female gender could accelerate the disease progression. Further studies are needed to support this notion and elucidate the underlying mechanisms.
Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; Diabetes mellitus; End-stage renal disease; Meta-analysis; Sex.