Diabetes patients missing out on key kidney check

Diabetes patients missing out on key kidney check


According to the analysis, based on National Diabetes Audit data, 25 per cent of people with diabetes in England were not recorded as having a urinary albumin check during 2010/11. In Wales, the situation was slight better with 21.6 per cent of patients not getting the check.


Kidney failure is common in people with diabetes and albumin in the urine can give an early warning sign of kidney damage.


The urine check is one of the two checks people with diabetes should have every year to screen for kidney complications. The other part of the screening is a blood test to show how well the kidneys are working. The percentage of people with diabetes who have the blood test is much higher than for the urine test.


Many GP practices are already giving the urine check to over 90 per cent of people with diabetes and Diabetes UK believes there is no reason why all practices cannot achieve this rate.


Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “It is really concerning that a quarter of people with diabetes are missing out on a simple check that could identify kidney problems early enough to slow their progression.


“Kidney failure might not worry people with diabetes as much as other complications such as blindness and amputation, but it can have an equally devastating impact on quality of life. All those people who are not getting this check are at increased risk of needing dialysis and ultimately of dying early. But by increasing the number of people with diabetes getting these checks, we can help ensure they get treatment for any kidney problems early enough to give them the best possible chance of delaying progression.


“This, as well as reducing people’s risk of developing problems in the first place by supporting them to keep their blood glucose and blood pressure at healthy levels, could make a real difference to the number of people with diabetes whose lives are devastated by kidney failure.


“Healthcare professionals need to make sure people with diabetes understand the seriousness of kidney failure, increase awareness of why the urine sample is so important and then act quickly on any problems they identify.”


Having an annual urinary albumin is one of Diabetes UK’s 15 Healthcare Essentials, which sets out the care everyone with diabetes should be getting.




By Ingrid Torjesen


Onmedica, Monday, 15 July 2013






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