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Diabetes Care. 2003 Oct;26(10):2903-9.

Signs of nephropathy may occur early in young adults with diabetes despite modern diabetes management: results from the nationwide population-based Diabetes Incidence Study in Sweden (DISS).

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Umeå University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden.



To estimate the occurrence of early-onset renal involvement in a nationwide population-based cohort of young adults with diabetes in Sweden and relate the findings to glycemic control, type of diabetes, sex, smoking, and blood pressure.


The Diabetes Incidence Study in Sweden aims to register all incident cases of diabetes in the age-group 15-34 years. In 1987-1988, 806 patients were reported and invited to participate in a follow-up study focusing on microvascular complications. Of them, 469 subjects participated. The assessment was based on questionnaires (n = 469), blood samples (n = 424), urine samples (n = 251) and, when appropriate, medical records (n = 186).


During the follow-up time, median 9 years (range 6-12), 31 of 469 patients (6.6%) with incipient or overt diabetic nephropathy (i.e., micro- or macroalbuminuria) were found, 24 of 426 (5.6%) in type 1 and 7 of 43 (16%) in type 2 diabetic subjects (P = 0.016). Additionally, 24 of 31 patients (77%) had microalbuminuria and 7 (23%) had macroalbuminuria, which mainly occurred in patients with type 2 diabetes. In a Cox regression analysis, high mean HbA(1c) during the follow-up period and high blood pressure at follow-up increased the risk of developing signs of nephropathy (P = 0.020 and P = 0.003, respectively). Compared with patients with type 1 diabetes, those with type 2 diabetes tended to have an increased risk of renal involvement (P = 0.054) when adjusting for sex, tobacco use, glycemic control, and blood pressure.


Despite modern treatment and self-monitoring of blood glucose, young adult patients with diabetes may still develop renal involvement during the first 10 years of diabetes duration. Inadequate HbA(1c), high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes appear to be risk markers for early occurrence of diabetic nephropathy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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