These findings suggest that sex hormones play a significant role in the development of diabetic kidney disease. According to Maric, "Our observations suggest that kidney disease in diabetic women may not be the result of absolute levels of hormones, as previously thought, but to the relative ratio of [sex hormone] androgen to estrogen. It may well be that the ratio of the two hormones is what determines the effect of the hormones in the diabetic kidney."
According to Dr. Maric, "The biggest surprise has been the finding that sex hormones -- normally thought to control only the reproductive function -- are involved in controlling processes in non-reproductive organs, including the kidney. Moving forward, we need to look more deeply into understanding how sex hormones affect organ function in each gender."