Effects of angiotensin II receptor blockers on diabetic nephropathy


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Abstract

Impaired kidney function increases the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Coexistence of hypertension and type 2 diabetes increases the risk of kidney damage, hypertension being an independent risk factor for kidney disease progression. Angiotensin II, through its inflammatory, proliferative, and thrombotic effects, adversely affects renal perfusion and increases oxidative stress, thus playing a pivotal role in kidney disease progression. Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors improve markers of kidney disease and slow kidney disease progression in diabetic and nondiabetic patients; this kidney protection may be in addition to their antihypertensive activity in those with advanced proteinuric nephropathy. Key beneficial effects of ARBs and ACE inhibitors throughout the kidney disease continuum are primarily explained by blood pressure lowering effects and partially by their direct blockade of angiotensin II. Recent studies have shown that telmisartan, an ARB with high lipophilicity and the longest half-life compared with other ARBs, provides benefits on markers of cardiovascular risk, that is, microalbuminuria and slowing of early-stage nephropathy.

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