Intensive diabetes therapy protects Type 1 diabetics' kidneys

November 12, 2011

Highlights People with type 1 diabetes are at high risk of developing kidney disease, but no therapies are proven to prevent impaired kidney function in these patients.

In the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), Ian de Boer, MD (University of Washington) and his team looked to see if intensive diabetes therapy aimed at reducing blood sugar as close to the normal range as possible might protect type 1 diabetics' kidney function. The study's results were presented during the American Society of Nephrology's Annual Kidney Week.

The researchers randomly assigned 1,441 individuals with type 1 diabetes to this intensive diabetes therapy or to conventional diabetes therapy, aimed at preventing symptoms of high blood sugar. Patients were treated for an average of 6.5 years. Subsequently, 1,375 participants were followed in the observational Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications Study (EDIC).

Over an average of 22 years in DCCT/EDIC, intensive therapy was more effective at preserving long-term kidney function in study participants. A total of 24 participants assigned to intensive therapy and 46 assigned to conventional therapy developed impaired kidney function, meaning that intensive diabetes therapy reduced patients' risk by 50%. Of those with impaired kidney function, 8 assigned to intensive therapy and 16 assigned to conventional therapy developed kidney failure.

"This study demonstrates that impaired kidney function can be prevented in type 1 diabetes and reinforces the importance of maintaining good glucose control early in the course of type 1 diabetes to prevent long-term kidney complications," said Dr. de Boer.
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Study authors for "Effects of Intensive Diabetes Therapy on Glomerular Filtration Rate in Type 1 Diabetes: Results from the DCCT/EDIC [Diabetes Control and ComplicationsTrial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications Study]" (abstract LB-OR05) include Ian de Boer, MD, Wanjie Sun, Patricia Cleary, John Lachin, PhD, Mark Molitch, MD, Michael Steffes, MD, PhD, and Bernard Zinman, MD.

Disclosures: Ian de Boer receives research funding from Abbott Laboratories. Mark Molitch has consultancy agreements with Abbott Laboratories, Reata Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, and Corcept; receives research funding from Reata Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, Corcept, Ipsen, Novartis, and Sanofi-Aventis; and receives honoraria from Abbott Laboratories, Corcept, and Novartis. Michael Steffes has consultancy agreements with The Institute for Bioanalytics.

ASN Kidney Week 2011, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for 13,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in renal research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Kidney Week 2011 will take place November 8 - November 13 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, and with more than 12,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

American Society of Nephrology

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