A drug used to control type 2 diabetes can help reduce the progression of kidney disease or related death, researchers have said.
Dapagliflozi, an oral sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor medication, reduced the risk of kidney function decline, end-stage renal disease and renal death in people with type 2 diabetes by 47 per cent.
The findings were part of the Dapagliflozin Effect on Cardiovascular Events Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (DECLARE-TIMI 58) trial, which is the first trial to look at heart health outcomes among people with diabetes who are deemed at risk of developing Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD).
The trial also showed that dapagliflozin reduced and prevented a worsening of Urine Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio (UACR), a measure of kidney health. The improvements were seen across participants with different levels of UACR at the start of the study.
The research involved studying more than 17,000 people with type 2 diabetes. Last year, findings from the study showed the drug had positive results for preventing heart failure, cutting hospital admissions for the condition or cardiovascular death by 17 per cent.
Lead researcher Itamar Raz, professor of internal medicine at Hadassah Medical School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and head of the Israel National Council of Diabetes, said: “Medications like dapagliflozin should also be considered as first line therapy in patients without established cardiovascular disease. The drugs have a high safety margin and should be used regularly by primary care physicians.”
Within the UK, dapagliflozi, sold under the brand name Forxiga, may be prescribed if someone with type 2 diabetes requires medication and does not tolerate metformin, or if they do not achieve adequate blood glucose control on other medication therapies.
SGLT2 inhibitors were approved to treat type 2 diabetes in 2013. The drug works by helping the kidneys to pass excess glucose out of the blood and excrete the glucose from the body via the urine.
The findings were presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 79th Scientific Sessions congress and the study is published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.