Inflammatory damage to the small blood vessels of the kidney can occur if blood sugar levels are not properly controlled in the long term. This condition is known as diabetic nephropathy BÄK et al., 2010) and can result in impaired kidney function (chronic kidney disease). However, chronic kidney disease, especially in childhood and adolescence, is often caused by other conditions such as congenital anomalies and hereditary diseases. Unlike in adults, diabetes in childhood and adolescence is less likely to result in chronic kidney disease, because it develops over time. Therefore, the treatment guidelines of type 1 diabetes, which is particularly relevant in childhood and adolescence, recommend regular examinations for the early detection of nephropathy from the age of 11, or 5 years after diagnosis (DDG, 2018).
In 2013, 0.37% of children and adolescents with diabetes had documented chronic kidney disease (girls: 0.34%; boys: 0.41%). This figure is comparable to the previous year’s and means that around 100 children and adolescents had documented chronic kidney disease.
Children and adolescents with diabetes rarely have chronic kidney disease. Figures from the disease management programme for type 1 diabetes in North Rhine-Westphalia also show a low prevalence of diabetic nephropathy; however, the prevalence was slightly higher compared to the present analysis (Zi, 2019). The duration of diabetes and the level of blood sugar control are particularly important risk factors for chronic kidney disease BÄK et al., 2010 Raile et al., 2007). Around one third of people with type 1 diabetes and up to half of those with type 2 diabetes develop diabetic kidney disease during the course of their life (Thomas et al., 2015). As such, there is a steady increase in the prevalence of renal insufficiency in adulthood (diabetic kidney disease in adults).