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Research Article

Early Diabetic Nephropathy


OBJECTIVEDiabetic nephropathy (DN) is a major cause of mortality in type 1 diabetes. Reduced insulin sensitivity is a well-documented component of type 1 diabetes. We hypothesized that baseline insulin sensitivity would predict development of DN over 6 years.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSWe assessed the relationship between insulin sensitivity at baseline and development of early phenotypes of DN—microalbuminuria (albumin-creatinine ratio [ACR] ≥30 mg/g) and rapid renal function decline (glomerular filtration rate [GFR] loss >3 mL/min/1.73 m2 per year)—with three Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equations over 6 years. Subjects with diabetes (n = 449) and without diabetes (n = 565) in the Coronary Artery Calcification in Type 1 Diabetes study had an estimated insulin sensitivity index (ISI) at baseline and 6-year follow-up.RESULTSThe ISI was lower in subjects with diabetes than in those without diabetes (P < 0.0001). A higher ISI at baseline predicted a lower odds of developing an ACR ≥30 mg/g (odds ratio 0.65 [95% CI 0.49–0.85], P = 0.003) univariately and after adjusting for HbA1c (0.69 [0.51–0.93], P = 0.01). A higher ISI at baseline conferred protection from a rapid decline of GFR as assessed by CKD-EPI cystatin C (0.77 [0.64–0.92], P = 0.004) and remained significant after adjusting for HbA1c and age (0.80 [0.67–0.97], P = 0.02). We found no relation between ISI and rapid GFR decline estimated by CKD-EPI creatinine (P = 0.38) or CKD-EPI combined cystatin C and creatinine (P = 0.50).CONCLUSIONSOver 6 years, a higher ISI independently predicts a lower odds of developing microalbuminuria and rapid GFR decline as estimated with cystatin C, suggesting a relationship between insulin sensitivity and early phenotypes of DN.