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

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

Earlier studies show a two-way link between type 2 diabetes and kidney diseases. A current study done 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.

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

Researchers have conducted analytical studies over a period of five years with 1.3 million veterans records of non-diabetic adults. The study shows 9 percent of the people had an increased urea level. Increased urea levels indicate reduced kidney functionality in an individual. The increased urea levels found in the study were equal to the percentage of kidney diseases found in the general population.

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

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

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 findings were 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 generated 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 renal or kidney tubules. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels increases if the kidneys were unable to remove urea from the blood. High blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels of an individual indicate kidneys are not functioning well. Increase in BUN levels may also due to urinary tract obstruction, high protein diet, heart failure or dehydration. Liver damage or disease can lower BUN levels. Kidney health can be improved by following measures.

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



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