Bonus benefits: Type 2 diabetes medications can also combat heart and kidney disease

Some newer type 2 diabetes medications may also help protect patient from heart disease and chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association.

The analysis, published in full in Circulation, explores the “significant reductions” in cardiovascular and kidney disease associated with sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. These medications are also linked to reducing hospitalization and slowing the progression of chronic to end-stage kidney disease.

The statement’s authors reviewed the outcomes of multiple clinical trials, noting that heart and kidney specialists can work together with primary care physicians and endocrinologists to help bring “a more multi-specialty approach” to patient care. Also, they added, it is important to develop treatment plans that meet the needs of each individual patient.

“The most important question that needs to be addressed in the future is the actual implementation of these medicines in clinical practice,” Janani Rangaswami, MD, chair of the writing group behind the statement and an associate professor at the Sidney Kimmel College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, said in a prepared statement. “When multidisciplinary teams can identify high-risk patients and ensure targeted delivery of these therapies, as appropriate, we could greatly reduce the burden of heart and kidney disease for millions of people with type 2 diabetes. Improving the cardiovascular and kidney health of as many people as possible—reducing morbidity, mortality and health care expenditures—are the primary goals.”

The full scientific statement can be read here.