Scientists: People with undiagnosed diabetes should be screened for chronic kidney disease
According to a study that will be published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology
, millions of Americans with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes may be unaware that they have chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Lead investigator Laura Plantinga of the University of California San Francisco and her colleagues examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Standard laboratory tests were performed on 8,200 Americans to determine the presence of diabetes and the rate of CKD.
Based on lab tests, 42 percent of people who had undiagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetes also had CKD. This number was similar to the 40 percent of diagnosed individuals who had the condition.
"Our research indicates that much of the CKD burden in the U.S. is in persons with undiagnosed diabetes, who are not being screened for CKD," said Plantinga. She added that broader screening is necessary to detect these two "relatively silent yet harmful diseases" in patients who do not realize that they have them.
Diabetes is the most significant risk factor for kidney disease, but the study suggests that harmful effects are occurring in these organs even before diabetes is diagnosed. Plantinga urges doctors to perform frequent screening, as early detection could prevent disease progression and poor outcomes.