The National Kidney Foundation, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Society of Nephrology have collaborated and developed a consensus conference that brought together experts in nephrology and endocrinology to review current practices, and to identify knowledge gaps, research opportunities and ways to improve clinical outcomes related to kidney disease in diabetes.

Approximately 50% of new kidney failure cases are caused by diabetes and it is estimated that more than 60% of dialysis patients have diabetes.

“Care for diabetic patients is very challenging. Kidney disease is one of a number of comorbidities that need to be managed,” said Thomas Manley, director of scientific activities at the National Kidney Foundation. “The presence of reduced kidney function has been shown to be a significant risk factor for end-stage kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in the diabetic patient. It is therefore important to develop new therapies and management protocols to prevent and slow progression of diabetic kidney disease.”

The report on the deliberations from the joint consensus conference held in 2014 has been published in the October issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, and Diabetes Care.

The highlights of the conference include:

  • The need to investigate the mechanisms underlying the development of kidney disease in diabetes.
  • The development and identification of new biological markers that will not only help detect early signs of kidney disease, but will also inform drug development.
  • Comprehensive studies to examine the effectiveness of different medications on glycemic control, lipids, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular risk factors in patients at various stages of kidney disease.
  • Further study on the rates and consequences of hypoglycemia in people with diabetic kidney disease, identifying people at highest risk for hypoglycemia and optimal treatment strategies for patients with diabetes and CKD who are at high risk for hypoglycemia.

“Diabetic kidney disease is one of the most serious complications expected to escalate with the sweeping, worldwide pandemic of diabetes,” said Dr. Katherine R. Tuttle, co-chair of the consensus conference. “Action now is essential to mitigate staggering personal, financial, and public health costs for people with diabetes.”

Read the full report.