Kidney function loss and albuminuria progression with GLP-1 receptor agonists versus basal insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes: real-world evidence

Meir Schechter, Cheli Melzer Cohen, Alisa Fishkin, Aliza Rozenberg, Ilan Yanuv, Dvora R. Sehtman-Shachar, Gabriel Chodick, Alice Clark, Trine J. Abrahamsen, Jack Lawson, Avraham Karasik, Ofri Mosenzon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In clinical trials enrolling patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) at high cardiovascular risk, many glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) improved albuminuria status and possibly mitigated kidney function loss. However, limited data are available regarding the effects of GLP-1 RAs on albuminuria status and kidney function in real-world settings, including populations with a lower baseline cardiovascular and kidney risk. We assessed the association of GLP-1 RAs initiation with long-term kidney outcomes in the Maccabi Healthcare Services database, Israel. Methods: Adults with T2D treated with ≥ 2 glucose-lowering agents who initiated GLP-1 RAs or basal insulin from 2010 to 2019 were propensity-score matched (1:1) and followed until October 2021 (intention-to-treat [ITT]). In an as-treated (AT) analysis, follow-up was also censored at study-drug discontinuation or comparator-initiation. We assessed the risk of a composite kidney outcome, including confirmed ≥ 40% eGFR loss or end-stage kidney disease, and the risk of new macroalbuminuria. Treatment-effect on eGFR slopes was assessed by fitting a linear regression model per patient, followed by a t-test to compare the slopes between the groups. Results: Each propensity-score matched group constituted 3424 patients, 45% women, 21% had a history of cardiovascular disease, and 13.9% were treated with sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors at baseline. Mean eGFR was 90.6 mL/min/1.73 m2 (SD 19.3) and median UACR was 14.6 mg/g [IQR 0.0–54.7]. Medians follow-up were 81.1 months (ITT) and 22.3 months (AT). The hazard-ratios [95% CI] of the composite kidney outcome with GLP-1 RAs versus basal insulin were 0.96 [0.82–1.11] (p = 0.566) and 0.71 [0.54–0.95] (p = 0.020) in the ITT and AT analyses, respectively. The respective HRs for first new macroalbuminuria were 0.87 [0.75–0.997] and 0.80 [0.64–0.995]. The use of GLP-1 RA was associated with a less steep eGFR slope compared with basal insulin in the AT analysis (mean annual between-group difference of 0.42 mL/min/1.73 m2/year [95%CI 0.11–0.73]; p = 0.008). Conclusion: Initiation of GLP-1 RAs in a real-world setting is associated with a reduced risk of albuminuria progression and possible mitigation of kidney function loss in patients with T2D and mostly preserved kidney function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


FundersFunder number
Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital
Novo Nordisk


    • Albuminuria
    • Basal insulin
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • GLP-1 RA
    • Real world
    • Real world evidence
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • eGFR slope


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