Objective: Diabetic patients are at risk of macro- and micro-vascular complications, including diabetic nephropathy, and have difficulties in achieving blood pressure (BP) goals. Aliskiren, a direct renin inhibitor, inhibits the first step of the renin angiotensin aldosterone system. We aimed to systematically address the relevant evidence on the effects of aliskiren in diabetic individuals. Methods: We considered randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating aliskiren in diabetic patients. Information was recorded independently by 2 investigators. We were limited to trials published in English. Results: PubMed search retrieved 16 items. After excluding 12, we ended with 4 eligible studies with 1488 participants. Mean baseline BP levels were 143/82 mmHg and median follow up was 2 months. Aliskiren was compared against angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) or aliskiren plus ACE inhibitor/ARB in 2 studies and against placebo in the other 2. The most frequent indication for aliskiren therapy was diabetes plus hypertension and albuminuria. Aliskiren seems to be effective in reducing BP levels, albuminuria in diabetics, either as monotherapy (compared with placebo), or in addition to ACE inhibitors/ARB (compared with monotherapy), without any major safety considerations. Conclusions: There are promising results on the effect of aliskiren in diabetic patients, but the available evidence is limited so far. This is a poorly investigated field with few RCTs and new studies focusing on “hard” outcomes are needed.
Keywords: Aliskiren, diabetes mellitus, albuminuria, hypertension, nephropathy, blood pressure, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), angiotensin receptor blocker, CVD, CKD
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