Diabetic nephropathy risk factors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Dima Nimri, M.D. [2]


Risk factors of diabetic nephropathy can be modifiable such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and smoking or non-modifiable such as advanced age and positive family history.

Risk Factors

Risk factors of diabetic nephropathy can be subcategorized into modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors:

Modifiable Risk Factors

Modifiable risk factors include:[1][2][3][4]

Non-modifiable Risk Factors

Non-modifiable risk factors include:[1][2][3][4]

  • Age: advanced age is a risk factor for diabetic nephropathy.
  • Race: African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics are at higher risk of developing diabetic nephropathy.
  • Family history: patients with a family history of diabetic nephropathy are more likely to develop diabetic nephropathy themselves.
  • Genetic profile: genetic variants in ACE, ALR2, APOC1, APOE, EPO, eNOS, HSPG2, VEGF, FRMD3, CARS, UNC13B, CPVL/CHN2, and GREM1 have been implicated in the development of diabetic nephropathy.
  • Obesity: obesity is associated with higher incidence of diabetic nephropathy.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kasper, Dennis (2015). Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0071802150.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lim A (2014). "Diabetic nephropathy - complications and treatment". Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis. 7: 361–81. doi:10.2147/IJNRD.S40172. PMC 4206379. PMID 25342915. Vancouver style error: initials (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tziomalos K, Athyros VG (2015). "Diabetic Nephropathy: New Risk Factors and Improvements in Diagnosis". Rev Diabet Stud. 12 (1–2): 110–8. doi:10.1900/RDS.2015.12.110. PMID 26676664.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Nathan DM (1993). "Long-term complications of diabetes mellitus". N. Engl. J. Med. 328 (23): 1676–85. doi:10.1056/NEJM199306103282306. PMID 8487827.