Ten per cent of people with diabetes will later develop kidney disease and need potentially life-saving treatment — but the trouble is we don’t know which 10 per cent.
Or at least we didn’t.
Now researchers at The University of Western Australia have developed a simple blood test to tell us – up to four years in advance.
The breakthrough will enable early treatment that could save millions of people from needing a transplant or regular dialysis to clean their blood because their kidneys can no longer do the job.
That’s great for them and it’s also good for our healthcare system which won’t have to bear the cost, freeing up resources for other kinds of treatment.
Around a million Australians have been diagnosed with diabetes at some stage in their lives, while the number of people living with some form of it in the United States is estimated to be as high as 100 million.
UWA Professor Tim Davis says many will go on to suffer a rapid decline in kidney function within four years of developing the first symptoms, but the test pioneered by his team, PromarkerD, will give advance warning before that occurs.
“This test has the potential to spare many people from future dialysis through the opportunity to intervene early with preventive measures. This could save the healthcare system a substantial amount of money,” he says.
Perth-based medical technology company Proteomics International Laboratories is preparing to launch PromarkerD in the US, while discussions are under way to make it available here in Australia as well as Europe, China, Japan and Mexico.
Research to improve diagnostic treatment is only possible if we support our universities. To keep Australia clever, please sign the petition below.