There is a lack of research on the effect of low dose of angiotensin receptor blockers combined with spironolactone, and the effect of high dose of angiotensin receptor blockers alone on the urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER) in elderly patients with early type 2 diabetic nephropathy (DN).Methods:
We conducted a prospective, randomized, open-label, parallel-controlled study that included 244 elderly patients with early DN and mild-to-moderate essential hypertension. Patients were randomly divided into 4 groups: low-dose irbesartan (group A), high-dose irbesartan (group B), low-dose irbesartan combined with spironolactone (group C) and high-dose irbesartan combined with spironolactone (group D). Changes in UAER, serum potassium and blood pressure were compared.Results:
There were no statistical differences in the baseline characteristics among groups. Furthermore, no significant difference in blood pressure before and after treatment was found among different groups. After 72-week treatment, UAER in group D was lower compared to group A and B (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, compared with group B, UAER in group C decreased significantly (P < 0.05). Additionally, significantly higher serum potassium was found in group D compared to other groups (P < 0.05). Also, group D had the highest count of patients who withdrew from the study due to hyperkalemia compared to other groups (P < 0.05).Conclusions:
Our results indicate high-dose irbesartan combined with spironolactone may be more efficient in reducing UAER in elderly patients with early DN, but this treatment could cause hyperkalemia. Low-dose irbesartan combined with spironolactone was shown to be safer and more effective in decreasing UAER compared to high-dose irbesartan.