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Type 1 (insulin-dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes are aetiologically and epidemiologically distinct conditions affecting different segments of the population. Nevertheless, no major difference has been identified between the nephropathies seen in these conditions, either pathophysiologically or in terms of management. They can thus be conveniently considered together. It should be remembered, however, that patients with type 2 diabetes tend to be older and more hypertensive, and thus more likely to have concomitant hypertensive and renovascular disease.