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Intensive therapy and progression to clinical albuminuria in patients with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and microalbuminuria

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 14 October 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:973
  1. Microalbuminuria Collaborative Study Groupa
  1. a Members of the study group are listed at the end of this paper
  1. Correspondence to: Professor G C Viberti, Unit for Metabolic Medicine, United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas's Hospitals, London SE1 9RT.
  • Accepted 20 August 1995


Abstract Objective: To study the effect of intensive therapy of diabetes on the progressio to clinical albuminuria in insulin dependent diabetic patients with microalbuminuria.

Design: Randomised controlled clinical trial of intensive versus conventional therapy ofdiabetes for a median of 5 years (range 2-8).

Setting: Nine hospital based specialist diabetes centres in England and Wales.

Subjects: 70 European insulin dependent diabetic patients aged 17-59 years with microalbuminuria (albumin excretion 30-199 µg/min), but without arterial hypertension, recruited from the nine hospital based specialist diabetes centres.

Interventions: Intensive diabetic therapy was allocated to 36 patients (27 men, 9 women) and conventional diabetic therapy to 34 (24 men, 10 women).

Main outcome measures: Development of clinical albuminuria, defined as albumin excretion greater than 200 µg/min on at least two consecutive occasions, and rate of change of albumin excretion.

Results: Mean glycated haemoglobin concentration, similar at baseline in the two groups (intensive therapy group 10.3% (SEM 1.9%), conventional therapy group 9.8% (1.6%)), fell significantly (by 14%) in the intensive therapy group only. A significant glycaemic separation between the two groups was maintained for up to three years. Progression to clinical albuminuria occurred in six patients in each group. Blood pressure, similar at baseline, fell significantly by 1 mm Hg (95% confidence interval −4.20 to 1.43) per year in the conventional therapy group, but the difference in the rate of blood pressure change between the groups was not significant. Independent of treatment assignment, a mean blood pressure above the group mean (93.6 mm Hg), but not the glycated haemoglobin concentration, predicted progression to clinical albuminuria (relative risk 4.2, 95% confidence interval 1.3 to 13.0).

Conclusions: Intensive therapy with improved glycaemic control for three years had no impact on the progression of albuminuria in insulin dependent diabetic patients with microalbuminuria. The reduction in blood pressure in the conventional therapy group may have affected outcome--in that arterial blood pressure rather than glycated haemoglobin concentration seemed to be the main predictor of progression from microalbuminuria to clinical albuminuria.


  • Funding The Department of Health, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the British Diabetic Association, and the Special Trustees of Guy's Hospital.

  • Conflict of interest None.

  • Accepted 20 August 1995
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