Banner Health Services  

Determing a diabetic's risk for kidney disease

Jean Robey, MD  

Jean Robey, MD, is a board certified physician in the fields of Internal Medicine and Nephrology on staff at Banner Estrella Medical Center. Her office can be reached at (623) 974-1763. 

Question: What are the risk factors for kidney disease?

Answer: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a rising epidemic affecting more than eight million people. Increasing efforts to raise awareness helps identify patients early and results in appropriate referrals to kidney specialist or nephrologists. Early referral can identify reversible causes of kidney disease, augment contributing factors and address the associated comorbidities that occur in the setting of CKD.

Risk factors for CKD include diabetes, hypertension, advance age, ethnic minority, certain autoimmune diseases, kidney stones, obstructive uropathy not otherwise specified, chronic non steroidal anti inflammatory usage and family members of patient with CKD.

Other indirect risk factors include obesity, tobacco abuse, heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, high cholesterol and transplantation with use of certain immunosuppressive therapies.

According to the American Diabetes Association patients with type I diabetes for five or more years or type II diabetes should have yearly blood work to detect abnormal kidney function and urinalysis to evaluate for abnormal protein excretion.

If you have any of the above risk factors and are concerned about your kidneys, ask your primary care physician if your evaluation will include blood or urine evaluation looking for kidney disease.

If CKD is identified, you may need further tests including more extensive blood work, radiographic imaging or intervention or kidney biopsy to help identify the cause. 

Free screening for kidney disease is often available. Check local listing for the National Kidney Foundation and the Arizona Kidney Foundation.

Page Last Modified: 11/06/2010
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