Biomarkers Predict Kidney Damage in Diabetics

Biomarkers Predict Kidney Damage in Diabetics

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have discovered four biomarkers that could help identify diabetes patients who are at risk for kidney damage.

Even with dramatic improvement in treatment, patients with type 1 diabetes still live an average of 15 years less and have nearly 10 times the medical costs of the general population—primarily because of the many other health complications that often come with the disease.

Lead investigator Mark R. Chance, PhD, director of the school’s Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics, and lead author Daniela Schlatzer, senior research associate at the center, monitored a group of 465 patients for the development of early renal function decline and urinary albumin—the presence of protein in urine. They found four protein biomarkers associated with these conditions: Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein, progranulin, clusterin and α-1 acid glycoprotein.

While the data is encouraging, researchers say further study is needed in other populations to determine whether this protein panel could be used as biomarkers of disease progression and response to treatment.

1 Research funded by NIH grant Nos.R01-HL61753 and R01-HL079611 M01-RR000051, UL1-RR024989.