Diabetes-induced nephropathy is now the leading cause of end-stage renal failure in New Zealand, according to the Department of Medicine at Auckland Hospital in New Zealand.
The researchers wanted to look at the distinction between established nephropathy in type I and type 2 diabetes. To this end, they selected 17 type I patients, who were predominantly European, and 29 type 2 patients, all of whom were Polynesian.
They found that kidney function fell much more rapidly in the group with type 2 diabetes, though glycemic control was worse in the Type I group, according to the results of the study which were published in the Aug. 1994 Australia/New Zealand Journal of Medicine.
The results could be read in two ways. Either people with type 2 diabetes progress more quickly to renal failure, or people of Polynesian origin are more prone to renal failure. Either explanation would explain the apparent excess of Polynesians with type 2 diabetes on renal replacement programs in New Zealand.