BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Diabetes is the leading cause of ESRD. Glucose control improves kidney outcomes. Most patients eventually require treatment intensification with second-line medications; however, the differential effects of those therapies on kidney function are unknown.
DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS & MEASUREMENTS - We studied a retrospective cohort of veterans on metformin monotherapy from 2001 to 2008 who added either insulin or sulfonylurea and were followed through September of 2011. We used propensity score matching 1:4 for those who intensified with insulin versus sulfonylurea, respectively. The primary composite outcome was persistent decline in eGFR≥35% from baseline (GFR event) or a diagnosis of ESRD. The secondary outcome was a GFR event, ESRD, or death. Outcome risks were compared using marginal structural models to account for time-varying covariates. The primary analysis required persistence with the intensified regimen. An effect modification of baseline eGFR and the intervention on both outcomes was evaluated.
RESULTS - There were 1989 patients on metformin and insulin and 7956 patients on metformin and sulfonylurea. Median patient age was 60 years old (interquartile range, 54-67), median hemoglobin A1c was 8.1% (interquartile range, 7.1%-9.9%), and median creatinine was 1.0 mg/dl (interquartile range, 0.9-1.1). The rate of GFR event or ESRD (primary outcome) was 31 versus 26 per 1000 person-years for those who added insulin versus sulfonylureas, respectively (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.63). The rate of GFR event, ESRD, or death was 64 versus 49 per 1000 person-years, respectively (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.11 to 1.59). Tests for a therapy by baseline eGFR interaction for both the primary and secondary outcomes were not significant (P=0.39 and P=0.12, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS - Among patients who intensified metformin monotherapy, the addition of insulin compared with a sulfonylurea was not associated with a higher rate of kidney outcomes but was associated with a higher rate of the composite outcome that included death. These risks were not modified by baseline eGFR.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Nephrology.