Diabetes-related kidney failure set to double in next decade

KIDNEY failure related to diabetes is set to almost double in the next 10 years in England and Wales, according to new analysis by Diabetes UK.

Should the rate of diabetes-related kidney failure stay the same then the projected increase in diabetes prevalence would mean the number of diabetics suffering kidney failure rising from 18,000 this year to 35,000 by 2025.

Not only is kidney failure among the most serious complications of diabetes it is also expensive to treat with costs currently running at £940 million each year. An increase in prevalence would leave the NHS facing millions of pounds in extra treatment costs.

Figures from the latest National Diabetes Audit show that about a quarter of people do not get routine urine checks for the presence of albumin – an early warning sign of kidney failure. Treatment at this stage can often prevent kidney failure.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: "It is a real cause for concern that, if we were to continue along the same path, our ageing population and the growing numbers of people with diabetes mean we would be faced with a huge rise in diabetes-related kidney failure. This would have awful consequences, as kidney failure has a devastating impact on people’s lives and is one of the reasons that so many people with diabetes die prematurely.

"A big part of addressing this is making sure that people get the education and ongoing support they need to keep their blood glucose and blood pressure at a healthy level. But at the moment, too many people have levels that are running dangerously high and this is putting their future health at risk.

"We also want to see a much higher proportion of people with diabetes getting their kidney checks, as if they do develop kidney problems then it is vital they are identified as early as possible. The consequences of missing the early signs can be devastating. People with diabetes need to remember to take their urine sample as instructed and not put it off or think it does not matter because they have remembered to have their blood test."

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