The natural history of diabetic nephropathy offered an average survival of only 5-7 years. During the past decades, multiple changes in therapy and lifestyle have occurred. The prognosis of diabetic nephropathy after implementing stricter control of blood pressure (including increased use of long-term renin-angiotensin system inhibition), lipids, and glycemia, along with less smoking and other lifestyle and treatment advancements, is inadequately analyzed. To clarify this, we studied 497 patients with type 1 diabetes and diabetic nephropathy at the Steno Diabetes Center and compared them with previous data, obtained using identical criteria at our hospital. The glomerular filtration rate, measured yearly by 51Cr-EDTA plasma clearance, was a mean of 71 ml/min per 1.73 m2 at baseline. The mean glomerular filtration rate decline was significantly reduced by 19% (95% confidence interval 5-34) from previously 4.0 to 3.3 ml/min per 1.73 m2/year. During a median follow-up of 9.1 years, 29% of participants doubled their plasma creatinine or developed end-stage renal disease. Mortality risk was similar to our prior study (hazard ratio 1.05 (0.76-1.43). However, after age adjustment, as both diabetes and nephropathy onset occurred later in life, mortality was reduced by 30%. Risk factors for decline in glomerular filtration rate, death, and other renal end points were generally in agreement with prior studies. Thus, with current treatment of nephropathy in type 1 diabetes, the prognosis and loss of renal function has improved along with better control of modifiable risk factors.
Kidney International, 2015, Vol 87, Issue 2, p. 417-426