Determinants of progressive renal disease in diabetes mellitus

Author(s): Aurell M, Bjorck S


The prognosis for the patient with diabetic nephropathy has improved considerably during the last decade. This is due to identification and treatment of different risk factors. Elevated blood pressure has turned out to be a major risk factor in established diabetic nephropathy. The impact of metabolic control has also been demonstrated. Lipid abnormalities have recently been identified as a possible factor that accelerates loss of renal function. The role of renal hemodynamic alterations is probably also important. Their contribution can indirectly be assessed by studying the effects of pharmacologic therapy. Angiotension converting enzyme inhibitors reduce proteinuria by a mechanism independent of systemic blood pressure and there is suggestive evidence that they preserve renal function to a greater degree than other antihypertensive agents.

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