Patients with type 2 diabetes might be at risk of chronic kidney disease, if they also have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, according to a new study.
In such cases, “type 2 diabetic individuals ... should be targeted with more intensive therapy to decrease their risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD)”, said the study's co-authors Giovanni Targher of the University of Verona, Italy, and Michel Chonchol of the University of Colorado.
The duo studied the links between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and CKD in 1,760 adult patients with type 2 diabetes. The former is a common type of chronic liver disease, in which deposits of fat build up in the liver.
Over time, NAFLD can progress to more advanced forms of liver disease, including cirrhosis. The study excluded patients with other common causes of fatty liver, such as alcohol abuse, chronic viral hepatitis and use of medications with potentially toxic effects on the liver.
All the patients initially had normal or near-normal kidney function. During an average follow-up period of six and a half years, 547 patients developed CKD, with a yearly risk of about 4.5 percent.
The risk of CKD was elevated for patients with NAFLD - 69 percent higher than for patients without NAFLD. The difference remained significant after adjustment for potential risk factors, including age and sex, body fatness, duration of diabetes, hypertension, smoking and medications for hypertension.
The findings of the study are slated to be published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.