Hypertension May be Genetic Link to Renal Disease

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If you have type 1 diabetes, check your family history. Patients with type 1 diabetes whose parents had high blood pressure (hypertension) showed a greater incidence of diabetic nephropathy compared to patients whose parents did not, according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes. Study authors Johan A. Fagerudd, et al. also reports that patients with type 1 diabetes have a greater chance of developing hypertension, and at a younger age, if their parents had hypertension.

Diabetic nephropathy is a major diabetic complication which affects the kidneys, occurring in roughly one-third of the cases of type 1 diabetes. Diabetic nephropathy is characterized by infection, sclerosis (hardening of the small kidney arteries) and damage to the glomeruli which filters the body’s blood of waste products.

Previously, doctors have not been able to contribute the development of diabetic renal disease to poor glucose control alone. The researchers believe that their findings provide evidence that genetic and environmental factors play major roles in the progress of this serious diabetic complication. In addition to hypertension, other genetic factors for diabetic nephropathy include cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, according to the study.

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