Leicester professor helps combat worldwide diabetes-related chronic kidney disease

A University of Leicester-based Professor has helped draft guidelines that will help improve global outcomes for a diabetes-related complication.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti was asked to contribute to the newly-published guidance about chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The condition can develop among those who fail to control their diabetes. Consistently high blood sugar levels can impair the kidneys’ blood vessels, which leads to long-term organ damage.

The Kidney Disease International Global Outcomes (KDIGO) 2020 Clinical Practice Guideline for Diabetes Management in Chronic Kidney Disease has now been published online in the Official Journal of the International Society of Nephrology.

Professor Khunti worked alongside other worldwide experts on the document which was drafted because the prevalence of diabetes around the globe has reached epidemic proportions.

At the moment 450 million people are impacted by diabetes. By 2045 that number is expected to have increased to more than 700 million, with more than 40 per cent of people likely to develop CKD. A significant number of those individuals will develop kidney failure, eventually requiring dialysis and/or transplantation.

Professor Khunti, Director of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands and Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “Worldwide, the estimated number of people with diabetes and CKD has grown in proportion to the rising prevalence of diabetes itself.

“This has been largely driven by obesity, people living a sedentary lifestyle, an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, and an increasing incidence of type 1 diabetes.

“For people with diabetes, CKD is a potentially devastating condition, markedly increasing cardiovascular risk, and potentially leading to kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.

“However, recent developments have suggested that there are new approaches that can improve outcomes, which we’ve brought together in the guidelines so that clinicians around the world have access to the latest research and information.”

The document covers glycaemic monitoring and targets, lifestyle and treatments, as well as approaches to self-management and optimal models of care.

The goal of the guidelines is to generate a useful resource for clinicians and people with diabetes, by providing clear recommendations based on newly-published research.

KDIGO was established in 2003 with its mission to “improve the care and outcomes of patients with kidney disease worldwide through promoting coordination, collaboration, and integration of initiatives to develop and implement clinical practice guidelines”.

Since then, the organisation has developed a series of practice guidelines which have helped inform healthcare professionals about the best care approach when treating people with diabetes and are at risk of kidney disease.

ARC East Midlands funds vital work to tackle the region’s health and care priorities by speeding up the adoption of research onto the frontline of health and social care. The organisation puts in place evidence-based innovations which seek to drive up standards of care and save time and money.

ARC East Midlands is hosted by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and works in collaboration with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network. It has bases at University of Leicester and University of Nottingham.