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Effect of Candesartan on Microalbuminuria and Albumin Excretion Rate in Diabetes: Three Randomized Trials

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rudy Bilous


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Background: Microalbuminuria in diabetes is strongly predictive of nephropathy, end-stage renal disease, and premature cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Effective preventive therapies are therefore a clinical priority. Objective: To determine whether the angiotensin-receptor blocker candesartan compared with placebo affects microalbuminuria incidence or rate of change in albuminuria in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Design: 3 randomized trials of the DIRECT (Diabetic Retinopathy Candesartan Trials) Program. Setting: 309 secondary care centers. Patients: 3326 and 1905 patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, respectively. Most were normotensive, and all had normoalbuminuria (median urinary albumin excretion rate, 5.0 μg/min). Intervention: Candesartan, 16 mg/d increasing to 32 mg/d, versus placebo. Assignment was done centrally using an interactive voice-response system. Patients, caregivers, and researchers were blinded to treatment assignment. During a median follow-up of 4.7 years, 793 patients discontinued therapy and 63 were lost to follow-up. Measurements: Urinary albumin excretion rate, assessed annually by 2 overnight collections; if it was 20 μg/min or greater, then 2 further collections were done. The primary end point was new microalbuminuria (3 or 4 collections of urinary albumin excretion rate ≥20 μg/min). The secondary end point was rate of change in albuminuria. Results: Individual and pooled results of the 3 trials showed that candesartan had little effect on risk for microalbuminuria (pooled hazard ratio, 0.95 [95% CI, 0.78 to 1.16]; P = 0.60). Pooled results showed that the annual rate of change in albuminuria was 5.53% lower (CI, 0.73% to 10.14%; P = 0.024) with candesartan than with placebo. Limitations: Investigators recruited mainly normotensive patients or patients with well-controlled hypertension who were at low overall vascular risk, which resulted in a low rate of microalbuminuria. Studies were powered for retinal and not renal end points. Conclusion: Candesartan, 32 mg/d, for 4.7 years did not prevent microalbuminuria in mainly normotensive patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Primary Funding Source: AstraZeneca and Takeda. © 2009 American College of Physicians.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bilous R, Chaturvedi N, Sjølie A, Fuller J, Klein R, Orchard T, Porta M, Parving H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of Internal Medicine

Year: 2009

Volume: 151

Issue: 1

Pages: 11-20

Print publication date: 07/07/2009

ISSN (print): 0003-4819

ISSN (electronic): 1539-3704

Publisher: American College of Physicians


PubMed id: 19451554