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Blood Purif. 2004;22(1):130-5.

Diabetes and chronic kidney disease: tragedy and challenge.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Hypertension/Clinical Research Center, Rush Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Management of hypertension in diabetic nephropathy is challenging and generally requires a minimum of three different and complementary antihypertensive agents to achieve the recently recommended blood pressure (BP) goal of <130/80 mm Hg in order to reduce cardiovascular (CV) risk and preserve kidney function. Commonly used antihypertensive combinations include an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker, agents that have compelling indications for use in diabetic renal disease, added to a diuretic, generally a thiazide-type agent. If additional therapy is required, either a beta-blocker or calcium antagonist may be added. Beta-blockers are particularly effective in people with a high sympathetic drive, i.e. high pulse rates, to lower BP and reduce CV risk while reducing proteinuria and slowing decline of kidney function. In light of this information, it is disturbing that a recent analysis of the NHANES III database indicates that only about 11% of people with diabetic kidney disease have achieved the target BP of <130/80 mm Hg. Recent data from Denmark demonstrate that focusing on total CV risk reduction among people with diabetes, including achievement of recommended BP and lipid goals along with the use of aspirin, exercise and a proper diet, can reduce the absolute risk of a CV event by 20% over less intensive treatment.

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