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Groundbreaking Study Shows Drug’s Impact on Chronic Kidney Disease; Co-Authored by ITHS Co-PI

Groundbreaking Study Shows Drug’s Impact on Chronic Kidney Disease; Co-Authored by ITHS Co-PI

A promising study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that semaglutide, the compound in Ozempic and Wegovy, dramatically reduced the risk of kidney complications, heart issues and death in people with Type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease. The findings of this major clinical trial could transform how doctors treat people with chronic kidney disease, a disease which affects millions of adults in the United States alone.

ITHS Co-PI Katherine R. Tuttle is one of the lead authors of the study, and she told the New York Times, “Those of us who really care about kidney patients spent our whole careers wanting something better, and this is as good as it gets.”

The study included 3,533 patients who were randomly assigned to receive either a weekly dose of semaglutide or a placebo, with a median follow-up period of 3.4 years. The results showed a significant reduction in the risk of major kidney events for the semaglutide group compared to the placebo group. Specifically, the risk of experiencing a primary-outcome event was 24% lower in the semaglutide group. Additionally, semaglutide was found to slow the decline in kidney function, as evidenced by a less steep decrease in the annual estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

Beyond kidney-specific outcomes, semaglutide also demonstrated cardiovascular benefits. The risk of death from cardiovascular causes was reduced by 29%, and the overall risk of major cardiovascular events was reduced by 18%. Furthermore, the study reported a 20% lower risk of death from any cause in the semaglutide group compared to the placebo group, reinforcing the potential of semaglutide to improve overall survival in this high-risk population.

The study concluded that semaglutide not only mitigates kidney-related outcomes but also enhances cardiovascular health and reduces mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes and CKD. Supported by Novo Nordisk, these findings highlight the multifaceted benefits of semaglutide, presenting a compelling case for its use in managing chronic kidney disease in diabetic patients.

ITHS would like to extend its congratulations to Dr. Tuttle and her co-authors for her work on this groundbreaking study.