Diabetic nephropathy epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Ali Poyan Mehr, M.D. [2] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Olufunmilola Olubukola M.D.[3]


In the United States, prevalence of diabetic nephropathy (DN) has increased from 7.4% to 9.6% within a 20 years period (1988 to 2008), and this trend will likely continue due to the increasing incidence of diabetes in the American populace [1]. Studies by de Boer et al showed that DN accounts for 44% of new ESRD cases with 6% attributed to type 1 DM, 38% attributed to type 2 DM, and a projected increase of 3 million cases over the course of 20 years[1]. This increased incidence and prevalence of DN is notably greater among African Americans, Asians, and Native Americans than it is among Caucasians.

Epidemiology and Demographics


  • It is estimated that half of the diabetic patients will develop diabetic nephropathy after 20 years of the onset of the disease.
  • Diabetic nephropathy is the most common etiology of nephropathy and dialysis in the Western world.[2]
  • The worldwide burden of diabetic nephropathy seems to be on the rise, with an incidence rising by 150% per one decade in USA, Europe, and Japan and a prevalence increasing from 6.4% in 2010 and estimated to reach 7.7% in 2030.[3][4]
  • Costs due to diabetic nephropathy reach as high as 30-40 billion USD annually in the USA only.[5][6]
  • The burden of diabetic nephropathy from type II diabetes is far more significant than that of type I diabetes.[7]
  • Advanced age in type 2 diabetes and early diagnosis in type 1 diabetes are associated with higher risk of DN.[8][9]


  • Diabetic nephropathy has no sex predilection.


  • Most of the cases of diabetic nephropathy develop after 10 years of the diagnosis with most of the cases are diagnosed between 10 and 20 years after the onset of the disease.
  • Diabetic nephropathy tends to occur in elderly patients with type 2 DM who have the disease for a long period of time.


  1. 1.0 1.1 de Boer IH, Rue TC, Hall YN, Heagerty PJ, Weiss NS, Himmelfarb J (2011). "Temporal trends in the prevalence of diabetic kidney disease in the United States". JAMA. 305 (24): 2532–9. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.861. PMC 3731378. PMID 21693741.
  2. Gray SP, Cooper ME (2011). "Diabetic nephropathy in 2010: Alleviating the burden of diabetic nephropathy". Nat Rev Nephrol. 7 (2): 71–3. doi:10.1038/nrneph.2010.176. PMID 21278716.
  3. Shaw JE, Sicree RA, Zimmet PZ (2010). "Global estimates of the prevalence of diabetes for 2010 and 2030". Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 87 (1): 4–14. doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2009.10.007. PMID 19896746.
  4. Mallick NP, Jones E, Selwood N (1995). "The European (European Dialysis and Transplantation Association-European Renal Association) Registry". Am J Kidney Dis. 25 (1): 176–87. PMID 7810523.
  5. Collins AJ, Foley RN, Chavers B, Gilbertson D, Herzog C, Johansen K; et al. (2012). "'United States Renal Data System 2011 Annual Data Report: Atlas of chronic kidney disease & end-stage renal disease in the United States". Am J Kidney Dis. 59 (1 Suppl 1): A7, e1–420. doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.11.015. PMID 22177944.
  6. Trivedi HS, Pang MM, Campbell A, Saab P (2002). "Slowing the progression of chronic renal failure: economic benefits and patients' perspectives". Am J Kidney Dis. 39 (4): 721–9. doi:10.1053/ajkd.2002.31990. PMID 11920337.
  7. Zimmet P, Alberti KG, Shaw J (2001). "Global and societal implications of the diabetes epidemic". Nature. 414 (6865): 782–7. doi:10.1038/414782a. PMID 11742409.
  8. Gall MA, Hougaard P, Borch-Johnsen K, Parving HH (1997). "Risk factors for development of incipient and overt diabetic nephropathy in patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus: prospective, observational study". BMJ. 314 (7083): 783–8. PMC 2126209. PMID 9080995.
  9. Klein R, Klein BE, Moss SE, Cruickshanks KJ, Brazy PC (1999). "The 10-year incidence of renal insufficiency in people with type 1 diabetes". Diabetes Care. 22 (5): 743–51. PMID 10332675.