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NIH study: Personalized kidney screening for diabetes patients could detect CKD earlier

Diabetes is the number cause of chronic kidney disease.

“Taking a personalized approach to kidney disease screening for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) may reduce the time that chronic kidney disease (CKD) goes undetected.” This finding is the basis for the first evidence-based kidney screening model for people with type 1 diabetes.


The study recommends annual urinary albumin excretion rate testing for anyone who has had T1D for at least five years. Albumin is a protein found in the blood and having too much albumin in the urine is a sign of kidney disease. These tests should be personalized based upon your risk level. This would optimize testing frequency and early detection of CKD. “Specifically, people with T1D who are at low risk of developing CKD could be tested for AER less frequently to reduce burden and cost, and those at high risk for CKD could be tested more frequently to facilitate earlier CKD detection.”


People with T1D have an estimated 50% risk of developing CKD over their lifetime. CKD can progress to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. The study used more than thirty years of participant data.

Those at high risk for developing CKD should be screened for urine albumin every six months. This screening frequency could reduce time that kidney disease is undetected so that appropriate interventions can be put in motion as early as possible. Those at lower risk could be screened every two years. This reduces patient burden and potential saves millions of dollars compared to just annual screening. Everyone else with T1D for five years or more can continue to be screened annually.


For people with T1D, keeping blood glucose levels close to normal greatly reduced the chances of developing eye, kidney, and nerve disease.

If you would like to read the article, click here.

Study: “Optimal Frequency of Urinary Albumin Screening in Type 1 Diabetes” appears Nov. 2 in Diabetes Care.

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