Leading health charities join forces to improve the lives of people with diabetes and kidney disease

Two leading charities have pledged their commitment to tackling kidney disease and diabetes together.

By bringing together leading scientists and funding vital research, Diabetes UK and Kidney Research UK hope their joint efforts can lead to a better understanding of why kidney disease develops in people with diabetes, and how to stop it.

Almost four in five people with diabetes will develop some stage of kidney disease during their lifetime, and the impact of kidney disease and diabetes combined is debilitating.

Diabetes is the single most common cause of kidney failure in the UK. Right now, there are 22,600 people in the UK who have diabetes and need dialysis or a kidney transplant.

The implications of kidney disease are serious; the condition accounts for around one in five deaths in people with Type 1 diabetes, and one in ten deaths in those with Type 2 diabetes.

Both charities are committed to tackling this serious problem.

Diabetes UK and Kidney Research UK have established Clinical Studies Groups: groups of scientists, healthcare professionals and people living with either diabetes or kidney disease, who work together to identify the most important areas of future research. To support this new partnership, these expert groups are now collaborating, to ensure that expertise across diabetes and kidney disease is put to the best use, in order to tackle research priorities and improve the lives of people with these conditions.

Kidney Research UK and Diabetes UK are open to co-funding research projects, enabling supporters’ donations to go even further, and are encouraging researchers to notify both charities in advance of applying for funding.

Elaine Davies, Director of Research at Kidney Research UK, said:
“By working together, our two charities want to protect people with diabetes from developing kidney disease and slow the progression of this devastating condition, helping people live longer. We don’t yet know why some people with diabetes are at a higher risk of kidney disease than others.

“But, what we do know is kidney disease spotted later can result in poorer health outcomes, with people dying unnecessarily. We need to help people with diabetes and healthcare professionals to spot the signs of kidney disease early and reduce the risk.”

Dr Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said:
“The statistics around kidney disease in people with diabetes are shocking – one in five deaths in people with Type 1 diabetes is a result of kidney disease, and this needs to change.

“As well as supporting healthcare professionals to spot the signs of kidney disease, we need to bring scientific experts together to speed up research into new treatments which can stop kidney disease in its tracks. Working together, our charities believe that we can put a stop to the harm diabetes causes.”

For more information, please read Diabetes UK and Kidney Research UK’s joint statement.

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