Follow-up to the Steno-2 study shows slower drop in kidney function in patients in intensive treatment for type 2 diabetes

​Longer period without serious kidney and cardiovascular diseases.  This is the main conclusion in Jens Øllgaard’s PhD study, which is also the final follow-up to the Steno-2 study that commenced in 1993.

Jens Øllgaard has been monitoring patients in the Steno-2 study, of whom 66 are still alive. A total of 160 patients with type 2 diabetes and higher risk of kidney and cardiovascular diseases started on the Steno-2 study. At that time, they were divided into two groups, one of which received intensive preventive treatment, and the second received standard treatment. Jens Øllgaard has investigated the effect of eight years’ treatment that endeavoured to reach the treatment targets, and he has examined the subsequent 13-year follow-up. The result is not surprising.

“We’ve found that kidney function in the group receiving intensive treatment fell slower compared with the control group, in which the drop was 33% faster.  If they maintain their kidney function, patients will survive for several years longer before the drop becomes so serious that they have to restrict their diet and they will excrete medicine,” said Jens Øllgaard. He continued: “We also know that reduced kidney function is linked with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and death”.

During the study, he examined the effect of their treatment by looking at survival, kidney function, eyes, heart function and a number of biomarker analyses.
“The registers in Denmark, and not least patients’ willingness to take part, even though they are not as young as they used to be and are often very ill, have provided us with an extensive database, and we know precisely how things are going with them,” Jens said. 

Most patients have visited Steno for various examinations, and Jens has either been in telephone contact with some of them, or he has visited them at their homes.

Jens Øllgaard has previously published  an article from his PhD studies in which he demonstrates that patients in the intensive-treatment group live longer and suffer cardiovascular disease at a later stage than the control group.

Jens Øllgaard primarily works at Slagelse Hospital, which also funded his PhD study. However, he is associated with complications research at SDCC, and the patients in the study were examined at SDCC.

About the Steno-2 study

The study was started in 1993 by Peter Gæde, Oluf Pedersen and Hans Henrik Parving.
A total of 160 patients with type 2 diabetes in the initial stages of reduced kidney function (microalbuminuri). Patients were divided into two groups. An intensive-treatment group and a conventional-treatment group.
The intensive group was monitored at Steno Diabetes Center and the conventional group was monitored by GPs. The groups received different treatment targets, and these directed the study.

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