Diabetic nephropathy is a form of chronic kidney disease, characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function. It is most common among people with Type 2 diabetes and hypertension and affects 26 million American adults. Diabetes has become the primary cause of kidney disease in the United States and the associated incidence of diabetic nephropathy is also on the rise.
- 20 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have diabetes
- 40 percent of all diabetics will develop diabetic nephropathy
Clinically, diabetic nephropathy (DN) is characterized by a progressive increase in urine albumin/albuminuria and a decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR), hypertension and a high risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Management of DN includes treatment of the underlying Type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension. Blood pressure medications such as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are commonly prescribed to control hypertension and slow the progression of DN. Nevertheless, most patients continue to have a decline in kidney function. About 20 percent of patients eventually progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and require hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or renal transplant. DN is a serious medical condition and needs treatments with new mechanisms of action that target pathways other than the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) in order to slow or reverse the progression of the disease.