Losartan in patients with type 2 diabetes and proteinuria: observations from the RENAAL Study

Shahnaz Shahinfar, Tania Z Dickson, Tultul Ahmed, Zhonxin Zhang, Denise Ramjit, Ronald D Smith, Barry M Brenner
Kidney International. Supplement 2002, (82): S64-7

BACKGROUND: Recently, the Reduction of Endpoints in NIDDM with the Angiotensin II Antagonist Losartan (RENAAL) Study demonstrated the benefit of losartan in reducing renal outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and proteinuria. Additional questions concerning the reduction of proteinuria and its relationship to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) as well as cardio-renal outcomes and the safety and tolerability of losartan remain to be addressed.

METHODS: Three analyses were performed: (a) the impact of losartan on the relationship between the reduction of proteinuria and ESRD; (b) a time-to-event analysis of the cardio-renal composite endpoint of ESRD, myocardial infarction, stroke or all-cause death; and (c) additional analyses of adverse events, particularly in patients with serum creatinine >or=2.0 mg/dL.

RESULTS: After adjusting the values for proteinuria over the entire study, the reduction of proteinuria accounted for approximately half of the treatment effect of losartan on the risk reduction for ESRD. In addition, losartan was associated with a 21% risk reduction for the composite cardio-renal outcome (P=0.003). The addition of losartan to a conventional antihypertensive regimen did not increase the overall incidence of adverse events, regardless of severity of renal impairment.

CONCLUSIONS: Losartan significantly reduced the risk of cardiorenal outcomes and was well tolerated by patients, including those with serum creatinine levels >or=2.0 g/dL. In addition, although this study shows that the reduction of proteinuria does not completely explain the impact of intervention on outcomes such as ESRD, reduction of proteinuria must remain an important consideration when treating patients with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy. However, the reduction of outcomes such as ESRD should remain the goal of therapy when evaluating renal protection in this patient population.

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