People with diabetes can benefit from ACE inhibitors

06/12/2009 - News

People with diabetes can benefit from ACE inhibitors

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


New study reveals that ACE inhibitors reduce kidney disease risk in people with diabetes.

Angiotension converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are used to treat high blood pressure. Now a report from researchers in Bergamo, Italy, shows that ACE inhibitors reduce the risk of kidney disease in people with diabetes, independent of their effect in lowering blood pressure.

The study involved a group of over 1,000 patients with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. They were assigned to either an ACE inhibitor, a calcium channel blocker, which also lowers blood pressure, a combination of both drugs, or placebo. They were monitored for signs of kidney disease. After an average of three and a half years, patients who had good blood pressure control had lower rates of kidney disease. Those on the combination treatment had the greatest blood pressure reduction.

Taking an ACE inhibitor alone or as part of a combination treatment provided further protection against kidney disease. This was true even if blood pressure was not well controlled. This is an important finding, as around a third of people with diabetes will develop kidney disease, with high blood pressure being a risk factor. The researchers say that the study underlines the importance of treating high blood pressure in people with diabetes and ACE inhibitors, alone or in combination should be the drug of choice.

Journal of the American Society of Nephrology December 2006

Created on: 11/03/2006
Reviewed on: 06/12/2009

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