Few Diabetics Aware of Potential Kidney Complications

Too many people who have diabetes don’t know about their increased risk of kidney disease, a British researcher says.

Researchers led by Gurch Randhawa of the University of Bedfordshire in England conducted a multicultural study — including 23 white and 25 South Asian patients with diabetes. The residents of England were between the ages of 34 and 79 years and had all been referred to a kidney specialist.

The study, published in the Journal of Renal Care, said most diabetes patients are completely unaware of how diabetes can affect their kidneys until sent to a specialist. He added “Many of the patients we spoke to were much more aware of how diabetes could affect their eyes and feet than their kidneys. We believe this study highlights a serious need for more information about the risks that diabetics face from kidney disease.”

“The people we spoke to experienced feelings of surprise, fear and regret when they found out their kidney had been affected,” Randhawa said in a statement.

“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.”

However, the study finds South Asian patients tend to be a lot younger than their white counterparts. The finding confirms, says Randhawa, that South Asian patients tend to develop diabetic-related kidney problems at an earlier age.

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