With a simple blood test, it is possible to reliably predict the risk of progressive heart and kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes using four biomarkers. This allows for early treatment, protecting sufferers from heart failure and other cardiac complications.
A new study involving experts from the University of Glasgow looked at which biomarkers are the best predictors of cardiac and renal disease in people with type 2 diabetes and albuminuria, and how these are affected by canagliflozin treatment. The results are published in the journal “Circulation”.
What does treatment with canagliflozin do?
The team analyzed biomarker data from blood samples from a total of 2,627 people with diabetes to find out how treatment with canagliflozin affects four biomarkers associated with an increased risk of heart and kidney disease in diabetes and kidney disease.
The effects of canagliflozin treatment on the levels of the four biomarkers were assessed at baseline, one year and three years, the researchers report.
Prediction of diseases thanks to biomarkers
In addition, it also analyzed how each of the biomarkers is useful in predicting various kidney problems and the risk of premature death from kidney or cardiovascular disease.
The experts assigned the participants to different categories with a low, medium and high risk based on the biomarkers. It was shown that people who were at highest risk experienced dramatically increased rates of progressive kidney failure and cardiovascular complications during the three-year study period.
Biomarkers as indicators of heart and kidney disease
“High levels of certain biomarkers are indicators of cardiac and renal complications and can help predict future risk of disease progression,” reports study author Dr. James Januzzi in a press release.
If the participants had high concentrations of the individual biomarkers at the beginning of the study, this made it possible to reliably predict the severity of future heart and kidney problems.
Canagliflozin reduced increases in biomarkers
The team reports that when participants took canagliflozin, levels of all four biomarkers were lower at both 1 and 3 years than in participants who only received a placebo.
For example, taking canagliflozin caused the values of all biomarkers to increase by only three to ten percent after one year, whereas the placebo group experienced a significantly greater increase of six to 29 percent.
Reduced risk of cardiac complications thanks to canagliflozin
“Treatment with canagliflozin, a sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor, lowered biomarker levels and reduced the risk of hospitalization for heart failure and other heart complications in people at highest risk,” said Dr. Januzzi.
However, more studies are needed to better understand how type 2 diabetes is linked to kidney disease and heart disease. This could make it possible to initiate life-saving therapies earlier, before symptoms of heart and kidney disease even appear. (as)