Worldwide, 850 million people are affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD)—a worrying figure, and one that continues to rise.
Treatment options for patients with CKD are multiple and often determined by the etiology of CKD.
So far, ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers were one of the most effective interventions which have been shown to affect CKD disease progression.
In a recent study, researchers found drugs SGLT2 inhibitors could slow down chronic kidney disease. The drugs could provide another breakthrough in the management of CKD.
The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine. One author is Professor Christoph Wanner.
The team previously studied whether the SGLT2 inhibitor Empagliflozin could lower the rate of heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.
They found that it could and that the medication could also slow the progression of CKD.
Their future work provided evidence that the SGLT2 inhibitor Canagliflozin could slow CKD progression in patients with type 2 diabetes and CKD with albuminuria.
An important link was still missing, however. In about one-third of all CKD patients, diabetes is the cause of kidney failure, but what about the other two-thirds?
Can SGLT2 inhibitors really help these patients, too, and prevent them from reaching end-stage kidney disease in need of regular dialysis treatments or renal transplantation?
In this study, the researchers tested 4304 patients (67.5% had diabetes), who were randomized 1:1 to dapagliflozin or placebo.
There were 197 people showing the occurrence of end-stage kidney disease in the dapagliflozin group and 312 people showing the symptoms in the placebo group.
Moreover, the benefit of dapagliflozin on the symptom was consistent in patients with and without type 2 diabetes.
The team says this is great news for patients with CKD. For years, no new treatment option has proved to be safe and effective, which meant that no new drug could be introduced into clinical practice.
But scientists now have a whole new drug class that is obviously very effective.
The findings show a long-awaited treatment to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease, even in those who do not suffer from type 2 diabetes.
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