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What are the diabetic nephropathy risk factors?

There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing diabetic nephropathy. These include:

  • Having chronically elevated blood sugar levels
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking
  • Having a diabetes-related vision problem (diabetic retinopathy) or nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy)

Having a family history of kidney disease or belonging to certain ethnic groups (eg, African American, Mexican, Pima Indian) can also increase your risk of diabetic nephropathy. But the factors listed above are the ones you can do something about.