ACEIs Reduce Risk of Kidney Disease

Author: Susan Farley

Patients with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure who take angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) blood pressure drugs have a decreased risk of kidney disease, according to a new study. The Italian study included more than 1200 patients with concurrent type 2 diabetes and hypertension who randomly received either an ACEI, a calcium channel blocker (CCB), a combination of an ACEI and a CCB, or a placebo. Researchers then measured amounts of the protein albumin in the urine—one of the first signs of kidney disease. Those patients whose blood pressure was under control had lower rates of microalbuminuria, no matter which treatment they used. Patients who used the combination therapy had the greatest decrease in blood pressure and were less likely to need additional antihypertensive medication. Results showed that the ACEI, whether taken alone or in combination, protected against kidney disease, even if high blood pressure was present. The researchers concluded that "an ACEI should always be used in patients with high blood pressure and diabetes." Results appeared in the December 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.