(RxWiki News) Diabetes is one of the biggest health problems in the United States. As more and more Americans get diabetes, the number of people suffering from diabetes-related problems is also going up.
In fact, in the last two decades, the amount of Americans with diabetic kidney disease grew at the same rate as the number of Americans with diabetes itself.
"More Americans are getting kidney disease because of diabetes."
This rise in diabetic kidney disease is likely play a role in increasing health care costs as well as death rates, the study's authors write. They say that the number of people with diabetic kidney disease may grow as the diabetes population continues to grow.
However, the authors note, the number of diabetic kidney disease patients may go down as new diabetes treatments become available to patients.
Diabetic kidney disease is a very serious complication of diabetes. It is the main cause of chronic kidney disease in places like the United States and Europe. Around 40 percent of diabetics will get diabetic kidney disease.
In order to get a better understanding of how much the condition is affecting America, Ian H. de Boer, M.D., M.S., from the University of Washington, and colleagues looked at trends of diabetic kidney disease over the past two decades.
Using data from three National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1988-1994, 1999-2004, and 2005-2008), the researchers identified people with diabetes or diabetic kidney disease. Diabetic kidney disease was defined as diabetes with albuminuria (having a certain protein in the urine), having an impaired glomerular filtration rate (the best way to test kidney function), or both.
Dr. de Boer and colleagues found that 2.2 percent of the U.S. population had diabetic kidney disease in 1988-1994. In 1999-2004, the disease affected 2.8 percent of the population. By 2005-2008, diabetic kidney disease was affecting 3.3 percent of the U.S. population.
Within those two decades, the number of Americans suffering from diabetic kidney disease increased by about three million.
These increases happened even while the number of patients taking diabetes-related medications also rose.