WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For patients with chronic kidney disease at risk for progression, the risk for progression of kidney disease or death from cardiovascular causes is reduced with empagliflozin treatment, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with Kidney Week, the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology, held from Nov. 3 to 6 in Orlando, Florida.

William G. Herrington, M.B.B.S., M.D., from the Nuffield Department of Population Health in Oxford, England, and colleagues enrolled patients with chronic kidney disease with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of at least 20 but less than 45 mL/min/1.73 m2 of body-surface area or with an eGFR of at least 45 but less than 90 mL/min/1.73 m2 with a urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio of at least 200. Patients were randomly assigned to either empagliflozin or placebo (3,304 and 3,305, respectively).

The researchers found that during a median follow-up of 2.0 years, progression of kidney disease or death from cardiovascular causes occurred in 13.1 and 16.9 percent of patients in the empagliflozin and placebo groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.72). Among patients with or without diabetes and across subgroups defined according to eGFR ranges, the results were consistent. The empagliflozin group had a lower rate of hospitalization from any cause than the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.86), but no significant between-group differences were seen with respect to the composite outcome of hospitalization for heart failure or death from cardiovascular causes or death from any cause.

“Empagliflozin treatment led to a lower risk of progression of kidney disease or death from cardiovascular causes than placebo,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly, which manufacture empagliflozin and funded the study.

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