This project was conducted retrospectively from January 2019 to January 2020 in Guilin. It was approved by the Affiliated Hospital of Guilin Medical University Ethics Committee, and each patient gave written informed consent.

Baseline data from T2DM patients was obtained from the electronic medical record system of the Affiliated Hospital of Guilin Medical University. T2DM was diagnosed based on criteria defined by the World Health Organization in 1999. The diagnostic criterion for DN was urinary albumin to creatinine ratio greater than 30 mg/g. To be included, subjects must have been diagnosed with T2DM, were over 18 years old and either had a local household registration or had lived in the community for at least 6 months. They were excluded if they had any severe chronic disease, including chronic pulmonary heart disease, chronic aplastic anemia, liver failure, cirrhosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, myocardial infarction or severe heart failure, uremia dialysis, or a malignant tumor.

Altogether, 1,095 subjects were enrolled in this study. They were divided into the DN (203) and nondiabetic nephropathy (NDN; 892) groups.

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