Feature Article

Diabetic kidney disease and CVD



© crystal light/stock.adobe.com
© crystal light/stock.adobe.com


Diabetic kidney disease is a common complication in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Appropriate surveillance of kidney function and timely intervention are key to mitigate the severity and burden of this disease. This article summarises the current recommendations for monitoring and treating diabetic kidney disease in general practice as well as emphasising its link to the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A correction for this article was published in the December 2020 issue of Medicine Today. The online version and the full text PDF of this article (see link above) have been corrected.

Key Points

  • Early recognition of diabetic kidney disease is important for early intervention to reverse, halt or slow the progression of the disease.
  • Close monitoring of urinary albumin excretion and estimated glomerular filtration rate is required to detect diabetic kidney disease.
  • Tight blood pressure and glucose control are cornerstones in the treatment of diabetic kidney disease.
  • Sodium glucose transporter 2 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists are new classes of glucose-lowering drugs that seem to be particularly renoprotective.
  • Patients with a urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio higher than 30mg/mmol or an estimated glomerular filtration rate of less than 30mL/min/1.73m2 should be referred to a nephrologist.