Previous studies have shown that hypertension treatment with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) can slow the development of impaired kidney function, as demonstrated by delayed onset of microalbuminuria.
However, studies of whether ARBs delay onset of microalbuminuria have not produced consistent results.
Professor Hermann Haller from Hannover Medical School in Germany, and a team including researchers from Japan and the UK, looked at the effect of using an ARB in this setting.
They presented their findings at the European Society of Hypertension meeting in Oslo, Norway this week.
The researchers compared the effect of the ARB olmesartan on time to occurrence of first microalbuminuria in 4,447 patients with type-2 diabetes.
They found that, after four years of treatment, olmesartan reduced the risk of patients developing microalbuminuria by 23%.
8.2% of patients given olmesartan developed the condition, compared with 9.8% of those given placebo.
The researchers showed that most of this effect was independent of the effect of olmesartan on BP.