Diabetes represents the “biggest cause” of end-stage renal disease (kidney failure) in the Western world, a leading expert has said.
The comment came from Dr Roy Zent, from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Tennessee, who was chairing a special meeting at the American Society of Nephrology’s annual conference.
The event, which was staged last week in Chicago and included a series of lectures on diabetes, took place during Kidney Week 2016.
Topics discussed included the development of diabetes, emerging techniques for increasing insulin-producing cells, the role of fatty tissue in insulin resistance and current and potential treatments.
Dr Zent said: “Diabetes is actually a subtheme of the meeting this year. It represents the biggest cause of end-stage renal disease, certainly in the Western world. We’re really trying to concentrate on the disease and how it affects the kidney.”
Results from the LEADER trial were shared at the conference. The trial looked outcomes of kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes treated with liraglutide (sold as Victoza).
The study saw more than 9,000 people treated with the drug or given a placebo. The risk of kidney dysfunction or death due to kidney disease was reduced by 21 per cent, according to the findings.
The study’s investigators concluded: “Liraglutide in addition to standard of care therapy reduced the progression of diabetic nephropathy.”
Kidney Week 2016 is the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, providing a forum for more than 13,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in kidney research and engage in educational sessions.
This year the organisers, The American Society of Nephrology, commemorated its 50th anniversary.

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