Early treatment with blood pressure lowering drugs can prevent kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes

​New results from Steno Diabetes Center show that people with type 2 diabetes who are treated with drugs to lower blood pressure from the beginning of their disease, have lower risk of developing complications in the kidneys. 

Today people with type 2 diabetes who show signs of early kidney disease are treated with drugs to lower blood pressure with the aim of preventing further development of this severe complication. A new study from Steno Diabetes Center, which has just been presented at the major American kidney congress Kidney Week in San Diego, USA, shows that kidney disease is more likely to be prevented if treatment with drugs to lower blood pressure is initiated at an earlier point in time.

“Our results show that there is a clear benefit in treating earlier and before signs of early kidney disease has been detected. Today blood pressure lowering medicine is initiated when patients are diagnosed with protein in the urine, microalbuminuria, or have too high blood pressure and at that point the kidneys have already been damaged. If patients receive medicine that lowers blood pressure earlier we can prevent that these early signs of kidney disease appear”, says senior researcher at Steno Diabetes Center Frederik Persson.    


Potential to change treatment guidelines

More than 40 % of people with type 2 diabetes have early signs of kidney disease which can, in worst case, lead to kidney failure and the condition has also shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

“In other studies we have seen that medicine to lower blood pressure have a positive impact on retinopathy which is another serious diabetes complication. That presents another reason for initiating this treatment at an earlier point in time”, says Frederik Persson and adds that the new results might lead to changes in treatment guidelines.   

The study from Steno Diabetes Center is a meta-analysis based on data from more than 16,000 persons with type 2 diabetes where one group received blood pressure lowering drugs while another group received placebo treatment.   


Responsible editor