Improved Blood Flow Saves Kidneys
Reported February 17, 2005
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — RAS blockers, medications that block the renin-angiotensin system, protect against kidney disease in diabetics — one of the main complications of diabetes. A new study shows these drugs work, at least in part, by improving blood flow to the kidneys.
Researchers from the Medical School Hannover in Germany tested the RAS-blocking drug olmesartan, also known as Benicar, on 19 people with diabetes. That group as well as a placebo group of 19 patients was treated for 12 weeks.
As researchers expected, olmesartan significantly reduced blood pressure. It also increased the rate of blood flow through the kidneys. Blood flow in patients in the placebo group decreased. Additionally, olmesartan-treated patients experienced a reduction in renovascular resistance, which measures resistance to blood flow in the kidney blood vessels. The opposite was true for patients in the placebo group.
Patients receiving olmesartan also had reduced signs of oxidative stress, which is believed to contribute to kidney damage. It refers to the buildup of unstable, potentially harmful molecules that have been linked to cardiovascular disease.
Researchers say these results may help explain how RAS blockers can prevent, or at least slow, kidney disease among people with diabetes. Another study is underway to determine if treating these patients with olmesartan can reduce long-term risk of kidney disease and other complications from diabetes.
SOURCE: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, published online Feb. 16, 2005