A retrospective record analysis of 112 juvenile-onset diabetics with nephropathy was conducted in order to determine their clinical course. The mean duration of diabetes at the onset of proteinuria was 17.3±6.0 years. Early renal failure appeared two years after the onset of proteinuria, and severe renal failure (mean serum creatinine level, 8.5±3.9 mg/100 ml) four years after the onset of proteinuria. The mean duration of life after the onset of severe renal failure was six months. The mortality was 53%, with 59% of the deaths attributable to renal failure and 36% to cardiovascular disease. All patients experienced progressive deterioration of renal function as well as the other complications of diabetes, the rate of progression being accelerated toward the end of the course. Juvenile onset diabetics should be considered for renal transplantation before the serum creatinine level reaches 8.5 mg/100 ml.
(JAMA 236:1861-1863, 1976)