Rates of proteinuric and nonproteinuric diabetic kidney disease (DKD) vary significantly across racial/ethnic groups, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

To assess racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of DKD, Vivek Bhalla, MD, of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues reviewed electronic health records (2008 to 2010) for 15,683 patients of non-Hispanic white (NHW), Asian (Asian Indian, Chinese, and Filipino), Hispanic, and non-Hispanic black (NHB) race/ethnicity with type 2 diabetes and without a previous history of kidney disease.

Compared with NHWs, racial/ethnic minorities had higher rates of proteinuric DKD (24.8% to 37.9% vs. 24.8%) and lower rates of nonproteinuric DKD (6.3% to 9.8% vs.11.7%). Compared with NHWs, Chinese women and men had a significant 39% and 56% increased odds of proteinuric DKD, respectively. Filipino women and men had a significant 57% and 85% increased odds, Hispanic women and men had a significant 46% and 34% increased odds, and NHB women had a 50% increased odds, after adjusting for confounding variables. In contrast, compared with NHWs, significantly lower odds of nonproteinuric DKD were observed among Chinese, Hispanic, and NHB women and Hispanic men.

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“In summary, rates of proteinuric and nonproteinuric DKD vary significantly across racial/ethnic groups,” the investigators wrote. “Additional prospective studies are needed to confirm these associations, as such studies could lead to improved public health surveillance of diabetes complications within diverse communities.”