Blood pressure drugs linked to increased kidney disease risk in type 2 diabetes

Jack Woodfield
Fri, 27 Apr 2018
Blood pressure drugs linked to increased kidney disease risk in type 2 diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes who were prescribed blood pressure-lowering medication had an increased risk of kidney disease, a new study reveals.

New findings from an analysis of two trials also showed that this risk was heightened among people without type 2 diabetes, but the risk was higher among those with diabetes.

The scientists from the University of Utah School of Medicine suggest that increased monitoring should be conducted among adults with type 2 diabetes who are prescribed blood pressure drugs.

Moreover, they add that longer-term studies are needed to investigate this link further to ascertain if a causal link exists between blood pressure drugs and kidney disease risk.

Blood pressure drugs, known as antihypertensive drugs, are offered to adults in the UK if their blood pressure is consistently above 140/90mmHg (or 135/85mmHg at home) and their risk of other problems, such as heart disease, is high too. Side effects of these drugs include headaches and dizziness.

Lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise and reducing alcohol intake, have been shown to help lower blood pressure, and this study adds weight to the benefit of lifestyle changes considering medication may lead to additional risks.

Eating low carb and having healthy fats has helped people to reduce their blood pressure and therefore reduce their need for blood pressure medication. Diabetes.co.uk’s Low Carb Program provides guidance to help you follow low carb in a healthy, sustainable and satisfying way.

The researchers analysed data from the SPRINT and ACCORD trials, aiming to compare the effectiveness of intensive systolic blood pressure control on incident chronic kidney disease in people with and without type 2 diabetes.

This intensive drug treatment increased the risk of chronic kidney disease in people with and without type 2 diabetes, with the absolute risk higher among those with diabetes.

While this research doesn't infer people taking blood pressure medication should stop taking the drugs, it does raise awareness of a link worth considering among healthcare professionals, particularly because people with diabetes already face an increased risk of kidney disease.

The findings appear online in The Lancet.
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