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Growing prevalence of diabetes makes kidney disease more common, study finds

Category: Kidney Diseases

Due mainly to rising diabetes rates, the number of people who are receiving unhealthy kidney test results is climbing at alarming rates, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers said that this trend could come to place a tremendous strain on the healthcare system, as diabetic kidney disease can be expensive to treat.

For the study, researchers from the University of Washington examined data collected by three separate National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted between 1988 and 2008. The results showed that as diabetes rates increased, the prevalence of kidney disease expanded at an identical pace.

Roughly 40 percent of people with diabetes end up developing kidney disease and these individuals make up more than 50 percent of the cases of end-stage renal disease, the most serious form of the condition. The researchers said this underscores the scale of the problem, but added that improving diabetes care could limit the continued growth of kidney disease.

"Over time, the prevalence of diabetic kidney disease may increase due to the expanding size of the diabetes population or decrease due to the implementation of diabetes therapies," they wrote in their report.

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