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A new drug for diabetics is expected to improve the treatment of high levels of chronic kidney disease in Indigenous communities.
Professor Mark Cooper from Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Research says Indigenous people in Central Australia have a particularly high incidence of type-2 diabetes complicated by kidney disease.
He says the drug will make it easier for health professionals to treat patients who suffer both conditions.
'The big problem is in people with chronic kidney disease,' he said.
'Many of the drugs we curently use cannot be used, either at all or with difficulty, by people who also have kidney disease.
'The new drug ... can be used in people with diabetes and chronic kidney disease.'
Professor Cooper says one of the advantages of the drug is that it can be used in tandem with other drugs.
'We have to use a range of drugs for diabetes, as well as insulin,' he said.
'One of the problems is that people with chronic kidney disease, either it is inappropriate to use some of these drugs or if you use these drugs in people with chronic kidney disease they have a higher risk of developing a low blood glucose, which is a serious side-effect in the diabetes treatment.'
Melbourne-based medical research organisation Baker IDI has been involved in a clinical research facility for Indigenous patients at Alice Springs since 2010.
The unit is located within the grounds of the Alice Springs Hospital.
Source: ABC news