Up to 40 per cent of young people with type 1 diabetes may go on to develop heart and kidney disease. Now, thanks to research funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Ltd (JRDF), Diabetes UK, and the British Heart Foundation (BHF), simple urine tests could identify those at risk.
In the first study of its kind, researchers, led by Professor David Dunger, Department of Paediatrics, examined the link between levels of albumin (a protein typically found in the blood but also excreted in small amounts in the urine) in the urine of adolescents with type 1 diabetes and the relative risk of heart and kidney diseases. Although elevated albumin levels in the urine are already used to identify adults with diabetes who are at higher risk of kidney and heart disease, this is the first time that researchers have shown that normal variation in these levels can be an indicator of risk during adolescence.
Says Professor Dunger, “Managing type 1 diabetes is difficult enough without having to deal with other health problems. By using early screening, we can now identify young people at risk of heart and kidney disease. The next step will be to see if drugs used to treat heart and kidney disease – such as statins and blood pressure lowering drugs – can help prevent kidney and heart complications in this young, potentially vulnerable population.”
The full article is available at http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2013/10/09/dc13-1634.abst…%20-