'Anti-Aging' Hormone Deficit Linked to Kidney Disease
A new study shows that people with diabetes who have early-stage kidney disease, which is a common side effect of diabetes, have low levels of a protective anti-aging hormone called Klotho. This finding may be significant—in the future, Klotho may be used as a marker to determine kidney disease risk and also may be targeted in the development of new treatments to prevent kidney disease in people with diabetes.
Previous research has shown that the Klotho enzyme helps protect the cardiovascular system against changes associated with abnormal aging, including thickening of artery walls (atherosclerosis). For this recent study, Klotho levels in blood and urine samples from 78 people with type 1 diabetes—33 of whom had early kidney disease indicated by microalbuminuria—were measured. Levels of the hormone were lower in people with kidney disease.
More research is needed, as this study did not identify a causal relationship between low levels of this anti-aging hormone and the development of kidney disease. Researchers hope to learn more about the protective effects of Klotho and how it may reduce the risk for serious diabetes-related complications.
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