Diabetic nephropathy in normotensive patients

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Arterial pressure is within 'normal' limits in most diabetic patients with or without microalbuminuria and elevated in 70% of patients with overt diabetic nephropathy. An abnormal increase in the level of urinary excretion is a strong predictor of the subsequent development of overt diabetic nephropathy and ultimately renal insufficiency. Correction of hypertension is associated with a reduction in the rate of decline of the glomerular filtration rate in overt diabetic nephropathy. In patients with microalbuminuria, short-term studies have shown that angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, in contrast with calcium antagonists, decrease urinary albumin excretion. Additional studies assessing the long-term effect of antihypertensive agents on the evolution of early diabetic nephropathy are needed. The superiority of ACE inhibitors over other antihypertensive agents in the treatment of overt or early diabetic nephropathy remains to be demonstrated. In addition to arterial pressure control, it is possible that optimal glycaemic control in addition to the modification of protein intake, dietary sodium and serum lipid profile may alter the course of diabetic nephropathy

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