SEP 09, 2019 9:38 AM PDT

Diabetic Drugs Offer Protection Against Kidney Failure

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Kidney failure is a consequence of diabetic kidney disease--roughly 3 million people are seeking treatment worldwide for kidney failure and the numbers are growing. Now, a meta-analysis study pulling data form randomized control trials has found that SGLT2 inhibitors—therapeutics for diabetics that work by lowering glucose levels--can decrease the risk of kidney failure complications such as the being placed on dialysis, the need for transplantation, or the risk of death from kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes. The drugs that were pare of the meta-analysis study include canagliflozin, empagliflozin, and dapagliflozin.

Learn more about kidney implications with diabetes:

“We found SGLT2 inhibitors clearly and powerfully reduce the risk of kidney failure,” says lead author of the study Dr. Brendon Neuen from The George Institute for Global Health. "These findings confirm those of the recently reported CREDENCE trial, where canagliflozin was shown to prevent loss of kidney function and kidney failure in people with type 2 diabetes. Ongoing trials of other SGLT2 inhibitors will definitively demonstrate whether all agents in the class have similar kidney benefits, but these results provide further strong support for the key role of SGLT2 inhibition in kidney protection for people with diabetes today."

Early studies on SGLT2 inhibitors indicated that it decreased levels of protein in the urine that lead to protection against kidney failure. "After years of stagnation, we are now on the brink of a new paradigm in the prevention and treatment of kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes,” says Richard Gilbert, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Results showed that SGLT2 inhibitors reduced the risk of dialysis, transplantation, and death from kidney disease by about 30%, reduced the overall risk of kidney failure by 30% and the risk of acute kidney injury by 25%.

"Clinical practice guidelines currently recommend treatment with angiotensinconverting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) to slow the progression of kidney disease in people with diabetes,” says co-author and Associate Professor Meg Jardine from The George Institute for Global Health. "But the risk of developing kidney failure remains high and diabetes is now the most common reason for people needing dialysis. The results of this meta-analysis are very encouraging for people with diabetic kidney disease. As more treatment options become available to halt the progression of the disease, it is hoped that fewer will go on to require more invasive and costly interventions such as dialysis and transplantation."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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