Feb 23, 2011

Future kidney failure can be predicted in patients with type 2 diabetes

An alumnus of the American Kidney Fund’s Clinical Scientist in Nephrology program is conducting research that may one day help doctors predict which patients with type 2 diabetes will develop kidney failure. Dr. Ravi Thadhani, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, worked with his colleagues to identify a set of urine proteins that are present almost 10 years before the onset of diabetes-induced kidney failure.

The researchers compared urinary protein profiles among 62 Pima Indians with type 2 diabetes and normal kidney function. They followed these individuals for 10 years to monitor whether they developed diabetic kidney disease.

Their preliminary research found a protein "signature" that predicts the development of kidney failure. If these findings hold up under further testing, they may make it possible for doctors to predict which patients will experience diabetic kidney failure. Armed with that information, doctors could intervene with those patients to prevent kidney failure from occurring.

The research was published in Diabetes Care.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in adults in the United States. Because kidney disease has no symptoms in its early stages, the American Kidney Fund recommends that anyone with diabetes talk to a doctor about having the simple tests that can check how well the kidneys are working.

Dr. Thadhani was an American Kidney Fund-Amgen Clinical Scientist in Nephrology from 1995 to 1998. Supported by this fellowship, he conducted research on pregnancy-related kidney disease and earned a master’s degree in public health.

"The AKF Clinical Scientist in Nephrology award came at a pivotal point in my early training when a research career in nephrology was quite uncertain," said Dr. Thadhani. "AKF provided me an opportunity, and for this I am most grateful."

The goal of AKF’s Clinical Scientist in Nephrology program is to improve the quality of care provided to kidney patients. This goal is achieved by enhancing the training of nephrologists who desire to pursue an academic career and whose primary professional commitment is to scholarship in the provision of patient care. Awardees receive advanced clinical training in essential skills such as medical ethics, biostatistics and epidemiology, and they conduct prevention and outcomes research. For more information about past and current CSN recipients, visit www.kidneyfund.org/fpr_csn.asp.

The American Kidney Fund is the nation’s #1 source of financial assistance to kidney patients, and is a leader in providing education and intervention to those who are at risk for kidney disease. For more information, visit www.kidneyfund.org.

(Living with diabetes)
Photo: Topik warna-warni
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