Factors that influence the development of nephropathy

Whether nephropathy ever develops and how rapidly it progresses vary immensely from patient to patient. For some, the risk of kidney damage increases with the duration of diabetes, but the risk does fall when the diabetes is continuously well controlled. For others, however, hereditary factors are also important. Even among those who have high blood sugar levels for years, there are some people who never develop nephropathy. On the other hand, there are people with fairly good diabetes control who nevertheless develop kidney damage. We know that children from families with diabetes in which one member already has a renal problem have a much higher risk, from the onset, of developing nephropathy. Unfortunately, there is as yet no definite known marker in the blood or the urine that can predict the risk of developing nephropathy for an individual patient. This would naturally be a great help, as patients at higher risk could then be managed much more intensively.

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