Diabetic Kidney Disease: How Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels Affect It

By: Arlo Taylor

Cardiovascular diseases and other metabolic diseases are a big problem in the United States. It is also a rapidly growing problem. Kids are turning obese at a younger age and have more allergies and other health problems than before. This is a very broad topic to discuss so what I am focusing on is how our diet indirectly affects multiple diseases to occur in modern adults. For example, obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This will then also cause other problems like colon cancer and even diseases like diabetic kidney disease (DKD). There is a recent study done on patients in Italian diabetes centers that correlate whether factors like high triglyceride levels indirectly affect the occurrence of other diseases like DKD. This study will show how important it is to focus on eating healthy and exercising regularly in order to prevent a multiple chain of diseases that can occur in unhealthy individuals.

According to a study done by Giuseppina T. Russo, et al. there is a large population of outpatients with diabetes as well as DKD. Over the course of 4 years, a total of 47,177 patients at Italian diabetes centers were tested to check their glomerular filtration rate, albumin in urine levels, and high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. This was to see if there was a correlation between diabetic dyslipidemia and DKS. Diabetic dyslipidemia is a very big risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It means that the person has high triglyceride levels and/or low HDL cholesterol levels. After seeing the results, the scientists concluded that diabetic dyslipidemia is an independent risk factor for the development of DKD.1

There are many studies like this that result in a correlation between diseases like obesity and diabetes. This study alone showed that patients with diabetic dyslipidemia is at a higher risk for the development of diseases like DKD. As future dietitians, we must understand that preventing is the cheapest and healthiest way to keep a person disease free. Medicine will only take away symptoms; education and prevention is the best answer. By teaching adults (and children) to exercise regularly and eat healthy, they will be much less likely to develop any kind of metabolic disease. A healthy diet is what prevents these diabetes patients from getting DKD or even diabetes and the lack of education on healthy eating is why Obesity rates are so high. Let’s take some time to look at this study and reflect on what we can do as future dietitians to make an impact on our health community.



  1. Giuseppina T. Russo; Salvatore DeCosmo; Francesca Viazzi; Antonio Pacilli; Antonio Ceriello; Stefano Genovese; Pietro Guida; Carlo Giorda; Domenico Cucinotta; Roberto Pontremoli; Paola Fioretto; the AMD-Annals Study Group. Plasma Triglycerides and HDL-C Levels Predict the Development of Diabetic Kidney Disease in Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes: The AMD Annals Initiative. Diabetes Care. 2016 Sep; dc161246.

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