Diabetic kidney disease: world wide difference of prevalence and risk factors

J Nephropharmacol. 2015 Oct 9;5(1):49-56. eCollection 2016.


Diabetic kidney disease - which is defined by elevated urine albumin excretion or reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) or both - is a serious complication that occurs in 20% to 40% of all diabetics. In this review we try to highlight the prevalence of diabetic nephropathy which is not uncommon complication of diabetes all over the world. The prevalence of diabetes worldwide has extended epidemic magnitudes and is expected to affect more than 350 million people by the year 2035. There is marked racial/ethnic besides international difference in the epidemiology of diabetic kidney disease which could be explained by the differences in economic viability and governmental infrastructures. Approximately one-third of diabetic patients showed microalbuminuria after 15 years of disease duration and less than half develop real nephropathy. Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is more frequent in African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans. Progressive kidney disease is more frequent in Caucasians patients with type 1 than type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), although its overall prevalence in the diabetic population is higher in patients with type 2 DM while this type of DM is more prevalent. Hyperglycemia is well known risk factor for in addition to other risk factors like male sex, obesity, hypertension, chronic inflammation, resistance to insulin, hypovitaminosis D, and dyslipidemia and some genetic loci and polymorphisms in specific genes. Management of its modifiable risk factors might help in reducing its incidence in the nearby future.

Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; Diabetic kidney disease; End-stage kidney disease; Glomerular filtration rate; Microalbuminuria; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review