Introduction: The epidemic of diabetes has now taken on epic proportions and therefore reducing the impact of diabetic complications represents one of the major global challenges in improving health and well-being worldwide. Preventing the development of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is particularly important, as diabetes is one of the main risk factors for the development of chronic kidney disease, which in turn is strongly linked to development of cardiovascular disease, end-stage renal failure, hospitalization and premature death. Intensive glucose-lowering treatment has been shown to prevent and slow progression of DKD, yet to date, only certain populations have benefited from this intervention.Areas covered: We review the evidence for existing glucose-lowering treatments in the prevention of DKD, and research into techniques to better target individuals who will benefit from these therapies.Expert opinion: Diabetic patients with established kidney disease may benefit from glucose-lowering treatment, particularly if a safer side-effect profile of these treatments is achieved. Better understanding of glucose homeostasis and evaluation of compounds inhibiting its downstream effects are required in order to improve the outlook for individuals with DKD. An additional approach to improve the success rate of glucose-lowering treatment is to improve the selection of individuals who may benefit from treatment. A potential means to identify such subjects could involve the use of biomarkers.
- Diabetic kidney disease
- Glucose-lowering treatment