Objective: The purpose was to compare the characteristics of Tunisians with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (Type 2 DM) and nephropathy with those without nephropathy. This study assessed whether or not phenotypic characteristics can predict nephropathy development in Type 2 DM. The prevalence of nephropathy in Tunisian Type 2 DM patients, and their relationship with clinical and biochemical factors as well as chronic complications of the disease were determined.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of patients with diabetes diagnosed between January 2008 and December 2010. Altogether, 73 Type 2 DM and 42 healthy volunteers from the Basic Health Group of Sousse, were targeted for the study. Clinical, biochemical data, as well as complications of diabetes were collected. Kidney malfunction was defined by glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
Results: Diabetic patients were older. Diabetic women were more likely to have higher body mass index than men (p = 0.004). Obesity was more in women than men (60/23%). Complications including hypertension and dyslipidaemia were co-associated in women. Urinary creatinine clearance in Type 2 DM patients without nephropathy was significantly lower than in healthy participants (p < 0.0001). Microalbuminuria and urinary creatinine clearance were associated only in women with Type 2 DM with nephropathy (R2 = 0.95); 1.5% of Type 2 DM patients without nephropathy had GFR < 60 mL/min/1.73m2 and 76% had a GFR between 60 and 89 mL/min/1.73m2. Glomerular filtration rate difference between Type 2 DM patients with/without nephropathy, as well as between Type 2 DM patients with nephropathy/Type 2 DM without nephropathy, and with retinopathy was not significant.
Conclusions: By analysing factors associated with nephropathy in Type 2 DM Tunisian patients, this study demonstrated their susceptibility to nephropathy. In addition, retinopathy is potentially associated with incipient nephropathy in Type 2 DM Tunisian patients.