Serum high-sensitivity-C-reactive protein levels were associated with a risk of developing, but not progressing, diabetic nephropathy in type 2 diabetes patients, according to a new study published in Diabetes Care. Serum hs-CRP might be useful for predicting the future risk of developing diabetic nephropathy.

Yasuaki Hayashino, MD, from the department of Endocrinology at Tenri Hospital in Tenri, Nara, Japan, and colleagues used longitudinal data obtained from 2,518 patients with type 2 diabetes registered in a Japanese diabetes registry.  

Patients were divided into quartiles based on serum hs-CRP levels. The researchers used the Cox proportional hazards model to adjust for potential confounders and to assess the independent correlations between serum baseline hs-CRP and either the development or progression of diabetic nephropathy one year later.

The mean patient age, BMI, and HbA1c level were 66.1 years, 24.6 kg⁄m2, and 7.5% (57.6 mmol/mol), respectively. Baseline serum hs-CRP levels were significantly associated with the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio at baseline (P < 0.001).

Multivariable adjusted hazard ratio for the development from normoalbuminuria to microalbuminuria was 1.31 (95% CI 0.80–2.17; P = 0.286), 1.55 (1.16–2.08; P = 0.003), and 1.57 (1.22–2.03; P = 0.001), respectively, for the second, third, and fourth quartiles of serum hs-CRP levels, showing a statistically significant linear trend across categories (P < 0.001).