Diabetic nephropathy is kidney disease or damage that occurs in people with
Chronic kidney disease Risk factors for diabetes Type 1 diabetes Type 2 diabetes
Kimmelstiel-Wilson disease; Diabetic glomerulosclerosis; Nephropathy - diabetic
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Each kidney is made of hundreds of thousands of small units called nephrons. These structures filter your blood and help remove wastes from your body.
In people with diabetes, the nephrons thicken and slowly become scarred over time. The kidneys begin to leak and protein (albumin) passes into the urine.
The exact cause is unknown. Poor control of blood sugar is thought to lead to kidney damage. If you also have high blood pressure, kidney damage is even more likely.
In some cases, your family history may also play a role. Not everyone with diabetes develops this kidney problem.
People with diabetes who smoke, and those with type 1 diabetes that started before age 20 have a higher risk for kidney problems.
People of African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian origin are also more likely to have kidney damage.
Review Date: 06/28/2011
Reviewed By: Ari S. Eckman, MD, Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Elizabeth, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.