. – We aimed to examine risks of major cardiovascular events (MACEs), renal outcomes, and all-cause mortality in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients with different diabetic kidney disease (DKD) subtypes.
. – A total of 36,509 participants with T2DM recruited from 20 community sites across mainland China were followed up during 2011-2016. DKD subtypes were categorized based on albuminuria (urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio, UACR ≥ 30 mg/g) and reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m) as Alb/eGFR, Alb/eGFR, Alb/eGFR, and Alb/eGFR. Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) of developing clinical outcomes in DKD subtypes.
. – More than half (53.5%) of participants with diabetes and reduced eGFR had normal UACR levels (Alb/eGFR), termed as non-albuminuria DKD. These patients had a modest increase in the risks of MACEs (hazard ratio, HR 1.42 [95%CI 1.08;1.88]) and mortality (HR 1.42 [1.04;1.92]) compared with patients without DKD, whereas CKD progression was not significantly increased (HR 0.97 [0.60;1.57]). Participants with albuminuria (Alb/eGFR or Alb/eGFR) had higher risks of clinical outcomes. Subgroup analysis revealed that the associations between non-albuminuria DKD and risks of MACEs and mortality were more evident in those aged <65 years.
. – Non-albuminuria DKD accounts for more than half of DKD cases with low eGFR in Chinese diabetes patients. Diabetes patients with albuminuria are at higher risks of developing clinical outcomes and warrant early intervention, as well as patients with non-albuminuria DKD with age < 65 years.

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