Research Article

Renal replacement treatment for diabetic patients in Newcastle upon Tyne and the Northern region, 1964-88.

BMJ 1990; 301 doi: (Published 15 September 1990) Cite this as: BMJ 1990;301:535
  1. C Catalano,
  2. T H Goodship,
  3. J S Tapson,
  4. M K Venning,
  5. R M Taylor,
  6. G Proud,
  7. W M Tunbridge,
  8. R W Elliot,
  9. M K Ward,
  10. K G Alberti
  1. Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.


    OBJECTIVES--To review the experience of renal replacement treatment in diabetic patients treated in Newcastle upon Tyne and the Northern region from 1964 to 1988, and to compare the morbidity and mortality of diabetic patients treated with dialysis or transplantation with those of matched controls of non-diabetic patients. DESIGN--Retrospective study of clinical case notes. SETTING--Renal units of the Northern region, particularly that in Newcastle upon Tyne. PATIENTS--All 65 diabetic patients treated by renal replacement treatment in Newcastle upon Tyne from 1964 to 1987; 42 diabetic patients were matched with 42 non-diabetic patients according to age, sex, year of starting treatment, and type of treatment (dialysis or transplantation). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Sex, age, renal biopsy findings, blood pressure, history of diabetic treatment, and plasma creatinine concentration at the start of renal replacement treatment. History of renal replacement treatments, suitability for transplantation, history of transplantation, cumulative survival, and cause of death during follow up. Survival of technique, cumulative survival of the first peritoneal catheter and history of peritonitis in patients treated with continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis; source of graft, histocompatibility antigens, duration of associated stay in hospital, and graft survival in patients receiving renal or pancreatic transplant. RESULTS--1259 Patients with chronic renal failure were accepted for renal replacement treatment in Newcastle upon Tyne, of whom 65 (5%) had diabetes. The first was accepted in 1974, and between 1974 and 1980 another 15 were treated (mean age 42 years; 4% of new patients). From 1981 to 1987, 49 diabetic patients (mean age 44; 9% of new patients) were treated. Fifty patients (77%) had insulin dependent diabetes and the remaining 15 (23%) non-insulin dependent diabetes. On average, the patients were aged 25 (range 5-57) when diabetes was first diagnosed and 44 (range 24-70) at the start of renal replacement treatment. The mean age at the start of treatment was 40 for patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes and 58 for patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes. Transplantation was performed in 33 of the diabetic patients, whose mean age was lower than that of those who did not receive a transplant (41 v 48 respectively, p less than 0.05). Comparison between the 42 diabetic patients and matched controls showed that the overall survival at five years was 46% and 77% respectively. The three year survival of the diabetic patients who did not receive a transplant was poor (41% v 79% respectively). Of patients transplanted, survival at five years was 73% in the diabetic patients and 90% in the controls. However, there was no significant difference in the five year graft survival (64% v 46% respectively). CONCLUSIONS--Diabetes adversely affects morbidity and mortality in patients having renal replacement treatment, but renal transplantation seems to be the best option for treating diabetic patients with end stage renal failure.