Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the number one cause of endstage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States and is highly prevalent in African Americans. Since 1997, DN has been the number one cause of ESRD in African Americans. In African Americans, almost all DN is due to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and nephropathy may affect female more than male patients. African Americans with T2DM are at increased risk for developing and having progression of DN. Glycemic control, development of albuminuria, family history of renal disease, and control of blood pressure are important risk factors for progression of DN. In addition, cigarette smoking, presence of hepatitis C, and use of thiazolinediones has an impact on renal survival in African Americans. Large vessel complications may be less frequent in African Americans with T2DM, when compared with white persons. Yet, cardiovascular disease and other microvascular complications are very common, and both are dependent on control of blood pressure. Achieving the recommended blood pressure of less than 130/80 mm Hg is essential but requires multiple antihypertensive medications, including an inhibitor of the renin-angiotensin system.
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