New Medication May Improve Kidney Function in People with Type 2 Diabetes

Kidney health is a major concern for many individuals who have type 2 diabetes, since the need for dialysis or an organ transplant is common among people who have the disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals with diabetes account for 44% of the new cases of chronic kidney failure each year in the U.S. In 2011, nearly 229,000 Americans were living with kidney failure brought on by the metabolic disease.

However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that an anti-inflammatory drug may help improve kidney function in people with type 2 diabetes.

The research, which involved more than 220 participants with type 2 diabetes, showed that individuals who took bardoxolone methyl experienced significant increases in the glomerular filtration rates - a process used by the kidneys to remove waste from the blood.

The study's results showed that the drug not only improved kidney function while the subjects were taking it, but it also provided benefits even after the individuals ceased treatment.

"If it’s confirmed to be effective and safe in the long term, this drug could potentially have a major positive impact on kidney disease and become part of the standard of care," said lead researcher Robert Toto.

Intensive management of blood glucose levels, which involves frequent blood sugar screenings and insulin doses to keep levels within normal range, may also help individuals with type 2 diabetes reduce their risk of kidney complications.