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Pediatr Diabetes. 2002 Jun;3(2):113-24.

Treatment of hypertension and microalbuminuria in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy.


Nephropathy is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with type 1 diabetes and, in adults, persistent microalbuminuria is the best marker of the consequent risk for its development. In the pediatric population, puberty represents the most important risk factor for the development of microangiopathic complications, although it is not necessarily associated with the progression to frank proteinuria. As many as 50% of subjects may revert to normoalbuminuria. Hypertension is a further risk factor and may accelerate the progression of micro- and macrovascular complications. There is evidence that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors reduce renal damage by one or more mechanisms independent of their antihypertensive effects--hence they represent the drug of choice for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy. However, as angiotensin II receptor antagonists are more specific, they may become the obvious treatment choice in the near future. There is no consensus as to who should be treated and when treatment with renoprotective drugs should begin in the pediatric population, due to the lack of a clear definition of the natural history of microalbuminuria in this age group. In this review some models and controversial aspects of this issue are presented and discussed.

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