Few diabetics are aware of the potential for kidney complications, study finds
Despite the fact that type 2 diabetes significantly increases the risk of developing kidney problems, a low percentage of patients are aware of the connection and even fewer know how to avoid kidney problems, according to a new study from a team of researchers from UK.
In fact, the University of Bedfordshire researchers wrote in their report, which was published in the Journal of Renal Care
, that the first time most diabetic patients become aware that their condition can cause kidney problems is when their doctor tells them that they have kidney disease.
They said that this represents a serious public health concern, as the cost of treating patients who have both type 2 diabetes and kidney disease is extremely high. Furthermore, there are steps that people can take to reduce their risk of these complications.
For the study, the researchers surveyed 48 patients with type 2 diabetes who had be referred to renal specialists. The survey asked patients about their knowledge of the degree to which diabetes can cause kidney damage.
Across the board, few participants said that they were aware of the connection. In fact, the majority said that it was never mentioned by their doctor that kidney damage could be a possible consequences of diabetes.
The researchers said that their results clearly show a need to raise awareness of the connection between kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.
"Some patients saw their kidney referral as a 'wake-up call' that they needed to manage their diabetes more seriously, while others were concerned about their lack of knowledge about the disease," said Gurch Randhawa, who led the study. "What was clear was that many of the patients we spoke to were much more aware of how diabetes could affect their eyes and feet than their kidneys."