12 August 2004
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is rising rapidly in all developed countries, particularly in the growing population of persons >50 years of age. As a dangerous consequence, this is accompanied by a proportionate increase in the incidence of chronic renal disease. Evidence-based medicine has shown that tight blood glucose control can delay the onset and retard the progression of diabetic complications, and while it is a challenge to closely manage the complexity of diabetes, it is more difficult to effectively treat the multiple associated comorbidities that develop. Best practice guidelines support early intervention and aggressive treatment of hypertension, hyperglycaemia, proteinuria, hypercholesterolemia, and anaemia. To date, guideline-based management has been proven to be difficult. This article describes the concept of the IRIDIEM studies. The objective of these studies is to endorse and facilitate the use of current best practice guidelines for the management of frequent comorbid diseases and established risk factors in the treatment of type 2 diabetes associated with chronic kidney disease. Additionally, IRIDIEM will assess the impact of this improved disease management model on the progression of chronic kidney disease that can result from electronically prompting clinicians with evidence-based treatment advice.