According to a recent study, a commonly prescribed diabetes drug also has a positive side effect on the heart and kidneys: Canagliflozin not only lowers blood sugar. It also reduces the risk of kidney failure and cardiovascular disease.
Doctors are already talking about a milestone in the treatment of kidney patients.
Canagliflozin, together with the standard therapy, clearly slows down the progression of chronic kidney disease and makes dialysis less common in patients.
In the video:
Kidney patient washes his blood at home by dialysis
This is the conclusion of a study that has now been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Over a period of three years, a total of 4,401 patients worldwide who are type 2 diabetics and suffering from chronic kidney disease have been studied. They were given either the drug canagliflozin or a placebo.
Lower risk of cardiovascular disease
Study participants who took canagliflozin on a daily basis reduced the risk of fatal kidney disease by 34 percent. In addition, the risk of end-stage renal disease – with the conse- quence of dialysis – decreased by 32 percent. They were also less likely to have a fatal cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack or stroke.
This result represents a real breakthrough
said Professor Jan C. Galle of the German society for nephrology (DGfN) the health portal "health city Berlin" and means thereby above all dialysis patient.
The fact that over a third of the drug was not dialysis-dependent in the study was "enormous". Because: "The average life expectancy of dialysis patients is lower than that of a colon cancer patient," said the professor of medicine.
The advantage for the heart and kidneys is therefore not limited to the special drug Canagliflozin, which was used in the study as a test drug. But for the entire class of so-called SGLT2 inhibitors, which also includes canagliflozin applies. SGLT2 inhibitors lower blood sugar levels.
Every second patient on dialysis is diabetic
The current study gives a "clear signal" that SGLT2 inhibitors lead to a "significantly lower loss of kidney function," said Würzburg medical professor Christoph Wanner.
"Although diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease – about half of the dialysis patients are diabetics," the health portal quotes the kidney expert, "but of course we hope to be able to help other people with kidney disease as well."