The Renal/Retinal Link

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Renal (kidney) function declines more rapidly in people with type 2 diabetes who have both retinopathy and proteinuria (protein in the urine).

Researchers in Italy studied 65 subjects with proteinuria and type 2 diabetes. Of that group, 38 also had retinopathy. Kidney filtration rates, amounts of protein in the urine, blood pressure levels and A1Cs were similar in both groups at the beginning of the six-year study.

When the study ended, the decline in filtration rates among the group that also had retinopathy averaged .6.5 ml per year, compared to a decline of about .1.8 ml per year in the group that did not have retinopathy.

The researchers conclude that screening for retinopathy can identify those at risk for rapid deterioriation of kidney function.

Diabetes Care, November 2002

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