U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Health Risks from Chronic Kidney Disease Independent of Diabetes

A meta-analysis of over 40 studies that enrolled over 1 million patients found that the presence of chronic kidney disease increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and death, and that similar outcomes were seen in patients with and without diabetes. 
 
There are approximately 23 million Americans with chronic kidney disease, and worldwide prevalence has been estimated to be between 10 and 16 percent of all adults. The most common cause of chronic kidney disease is diabetes, and the most common cause of death in patients with chronic kidney disease is cardiovascular disease. The current study examined patient data from 30 studies of the general population and high-risk patients and 13 studies of patients with chronic kidney disease in order to determine the risk of progression to kidney failure or cardiovascular disease and death in patients with chronic kidney disease. Specifically, the researchers were interested in learning whether the presence of diabetes in these patients had an impact on the likelihood of progression to kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, or death. When comparing patients with and without diabetes who had the same level of estimated kidney function, the risk of kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and death were much the same in both groups. 
 
Although patients with diabetes have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and kidney failure, this study found that the relative risks of these outcomes were much the same irrespective of the presence or absence of diabetes when kidney function was included in the analysis. This observation highlights the association of poorer outcomes with reduction in kidney function and underscore the important role of kidney health as a predictor of outcomes independent of diabetes status.
 
Fox CS, Matsushita K, Woodward M, et al. Associations of kidney disease measures with mortality and end-stage renal disease in individuals with and without diabetes: a meta-analysis. Lancet 380: 1662-1673, 2012​