The high blood pressure drug irbesartan (Avapro) can protect against kidney disease in people who have high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, preventing the progression of kidney disease or death by 20 percent (p=0.02) versus placebo, and 23 percent (p=0.006) versus amlodipine, according to a study reported by Dr. Edmund J. Lewis, director of nephrology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Lukes Medical Center, Chicago. Dr. Lewis is the lead investigator of the Irbesartan Diabetic Nephropathy Trial (IDNT).
The IDNT findings were presented today, May 19, at the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) meeting in San Francisco.
The drug is not only an excellent blood pressure drug for patients with diabetes and hypertension, but more importantly it protects their kidneys from damage independent of its effect on blood pressure, said Dr. Lewis. For physicians, we now have a drug that slows the progression of kidney disease, and delays or prevents the need for dialysis or transplantation.
Kidney disease is a major problem for people whose health is already affected by high blood pressure and diabetes, according to researchers.
The researchers studied 1,715 men and women between the ages of 30 and 70 years with high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes in an international multi-center, double-blind placebo controlled study comparing the angiotensin II blocker irbesartan, the calcium channel blocker amlodipine and a placebo group given antihypertensive medication to control the blood pressure.
Irbesartan was shown to reduce the risk of halving kidney function or progressing to transplantation or dialysis by 30 percent compared to placebo. Irbesartan was also shown to slow the progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) by 37 percent over amlodipine. Serum creatinine a marker of kidney disease rose significantly more slowly in those taking irbesartan over placebo.