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The Silent Threat: Unraveling the Link Between Diabetes, Hypertension, and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) poses a significant health risk worldwide, and its prevalence in Canada is increasing, with close to 3 million people affected by the disease. Two major contributors to the development of CKD are diabetes and hypertension and although they appear to be unrelated conditions, they can often go unnoticed until serious kidney-related complications arise. In this article, we will discuss how diabetes and hypertension can increase your risk of developing chronic kidney disease and the ways in which testing and lifestyle changes can help detect and prevent it leading to end-stage kidney failure.

How does diabetes cause kidney disease?

Diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, significantly heightens the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. The elevated levels of glucose in the blood, caused by diabetes, can over time damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys. This damage impairs the kidneys’ ability to filter waste and excess fluids, leading to a gradual decline in kidney function.1

Unfortunately, kidney disease often progresses silently, with symptoms only becoming apparent in the later stages. However, individuals with diabetes may experience increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, and swelling in the ankles and legs as early signs of kidney impairment.

For those with type 2 diabetes, getting screened early for kidney disease is very important. Early detection allows health care providers (HCPs) to implement treatment programs to slow down the progression of kidney disease. Kidney function tests, such as urine albumin and creatinine with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), can provide crucial insights into kidney health.

What’s the relationship between hypertension and kidney disease?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, exerts relentless pressure on the blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the kidneys. Over time, this increased pressure can cause damage to the delicate filtering units of the kidneys, impairing their ability to function properly.2

Similar to diabetes, hypertension-induced kidney disease may progress silently. Symptoms may include changes in urine frequency, blood in the urine, swelling, and elevated levels of creatinine in the blood.

Regular blood pressure monitoring and kidney function tests are crucial for individuals with hypertension. Early detection and effective management of high blood pressure can significantly reduce the risk of kidney damage.

Screening for Kidney Disease using Klinrisk algorithm

The good news is that proper management of diabetes and hypertension, along with screening for kidney disease can prevent or delay the loss of kidney function. That’s why detecting kidney disease as early as possible with a next generation tool, called Klinrisk, can help your doctor determine the most effective treatments and suggest lifestyle adjustments as needed.

Klinrisk is a powerful artificial intelligence algorithm-based tool that provides prognostic information beyond common kidney function tests and identifies patients who are at risk of kidney disease progression and developing CKD. Klinrisk is built for all patients with kidney disease and helps with early identification of patients that are at risk of progressive kidney disease. By using routine laboratory test results, the algorithm calculates a risk score so that these patients can reduce their chances of developing end-stage kidney disease.3,4

So, if you’re diabetic or you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, your doctor might decide to measure your risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) with Klinrisk.

To learn more about kidney disease testing and Klinrisk, please visit the Klinrisk web page by clicking here.

You can also print this helpful guide and bring it with you to your next doctor’s appointment to discuss whether Klinrisk is right for you.

A proactive approach is the key to managing your health

Understanding the inter-connection between diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease highlights the importance of proactive health management. If you have diabetes or hypertension, it’s important to talk to your health care provider about kidney disease screening and testing.

Routine check-ups, blood pressure monitoring, and kidney function tests can be instrumental in identifying issues early on. By taking a proactive approach you can mitigate the risks associated with diabetes and hypertension, ultimately safeguarding the health of your kidneys. Remember, knowledge and early action are powerful tools in the fight against chronic kidney disease.


  1. Diabetic Kidney Disease – NIDDK (
  2. High Blood Pressure & Kidney Disease – NIDDK (
  4. Ferguson T, Ravani P, et al. Development and External Validation of Machine Learning Model for Progression of CKD. Kidney Int Reports 2022;7:1772-1781

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