Icon - Diabetes & kidney disease

Diabetes & kidney disease

Diabetes is a common cause of chronic kidney disease
Diabetes is caused by problems with the production and/or action of insulin, which is a hormone that controls the amount of sugar in your blood.

Diabetes can damage the kidney filters, leading to diabetic kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy). Around one-third of people who start dialysis or receive a transplant have end stage kidney disease caused by diabetes.

Risk factors for diabetic kidney disease

  • Duration of diabetes

The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you will develop kidney damage. Up to 30 per cent of people with diabetes will develop chronic kidney disease within 20 years of diagnosis.

  • Family history and genetic factors

The genes for diabetic kidney disease have not been identified. However, some studies suggest that for people with diabetes, a family history of high blood pressure or heart disease can increase the risk of diabetic kidney disease.

  • Age

A natural, slow decline in the kidneys’ ability to filter blood occurs as you get older.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage

Diabetes is more common in people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Links to fact sheets and other helpful information can be found in our Resource Library.

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