Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is responsible for the increasing number of patients on dialysis in developing countries, and is already the most common cause of renal replacement therapy in the developed ones. In this manuscript, we review the risk factors and point out strategies to prevent this microvascular complication in type 2 diabetic patients (DM2). There are some known genetic and non-genetic risk factors related to the development and progression of DN in DM2 patients. Candidate genes have been analysed, but there are still controversy about the genetic markers of the disease. Recognized non-genetic risk factors are poor glycemic, pressoric and lipidic control. Additionally, it has been suggested that the presence of diabetic retinopathy, autonomic neuropathy, smoking habit, higher protein ingestion, and higher normal levels of albuminuria (even within the normal range) are associated with an increased risk of developing DN. Some strategies have been investigated and proved to prevent or at least to postpone DN, such as to control blood pressure, glycemic levels and dyslipidemia. Furthermore, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin-II blockers have independent effects, not explained by blood pressure control alone. Other therapeutic items are to consume a low protein diet and to quit smoking.
Risk factors; Diabetic nephropathy; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Prevention