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Diabetes Care. 1999 Mar;22 Suppl 2:B80-3.

How can we improve prognosis in diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease?

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Department of Internal Medicine, Ruperto-Carola University, Heidelberg, Germany.


Diabetes has become the single most important cause of end-stage renal failure, but survival of diabetic patients with renal replacement therapy continues to be poor. The major causes of death are cardiovascular complications. Most cardiovascular complications, particularly coronary atheroma, accumulate before patients enter renal replacement programs. This observation points to the need for improved patient care in pre-end-stage renal failure. In the diabetic patient, dialysis should be started earlier than in the nondiabetic patient, and prophylactic vascular access should be established when the glomerular filtration rate is approximately 20 ml/min. Proposals to improve prognosis of the diabetic patient with renal failure include interdisciplinary care for the patients with renal disease, strict normotension, administration of ACE inhibitors, administration of lipid-lowering agents, near-normalization of anemia using recombinant human erythropoietin, and improvement of diabetic foot care in the patient on renal replacement therapy.

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