Diabetes, Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.  Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Heart Diseases
 Article 320
    Published on April 6, 2018


High levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes


An earlier study shows a two-way link between type 2 diabetes and kidney diseases. A current study by the researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, United States shows how high blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

High blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and high blood sugar (glucose).

The study found that the risk of type 2 diabetes (a condition with high blood sugar (glucose) levels) increases with kidney dysfunction. The high levels of urea (a waste product of the kidneys) show the reason for the two-way link between type 2 diabetes and kidney diseases. This is the first study showing that the BUN as an independent risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes.

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An analytical study over a period of five years in 1.3 million veterans without type 2 diabetes shows nine percent of the people had higher levels of urea. Higher levels of urea shows reduced kidney functionality in a person. The number of patients with a higher level of urea found in the study was equal to the percentage of kidney diseases found in the general population.

The study also found 688 new patients with type 2 diabetes in 100,000 people every year with higher level of urea (> 25 mg/dL). Kidney dysfunction causes increased insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion. Authors of the study say type 2 diabetes risk can be prevented with lower levels of urea in an individual.

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The senior author of the study was Dr. Ziyad Al-Al, MD, FASN, an assistant professor, Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, the United States. The study was published December 10, 2017, in the journal Kidney International. Title of the article was "Higher blood urea nitrogen is associated with increased risk of incident diabetes mellitus." DOI : doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2017.08.033

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Urea : Urea nitrogen is a waste product produced in our body during the breakdown of proteins (from our diet) and from our body metabolism. Normally, urea from the blood will be separated and removed by the tiny tubules inside the kidney. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels increases if the kidneys were unable to remove urea from the blood. High blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels indicate kidneys are not functioning well. Increase in BUN levels may also due to urinary tract obstruction, high protein diet, heart failure or dehydration. A damage or disease of the liver can lower BUN levels. Kidney health can be improved by the following measures.

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  • Eating the healthy diet.
  • Consuming more water.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Regular exercise or workout.



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