Effects of aliskiren on mortality, cardiovascular outcomes and adverse events in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease or risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 13,395 patients

Diab Vasc Dis Res. 2017 Sep;14(5):400-406. doi: 10.1177/1479164117715854. Epub 2017 Aug 27.


Background: Aliskiren was shown to increase adverse events in patients with diabetes and concomitant renin-angiotensin blockade. We aim to investigate the efficacy and safety of aliskiren in patients with diabetes and increased cardiovascular risk or established cardiovascular disease.

Methods: MEDLINE and Embase were searched for prospective studies comparing addition of aliskiren to standard medical therapy in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, or ⩾1 additional cardiovascular risk factor (hypertension, abnormal lipid profile, microalbuminuria/proteinuria, chronic kidney disease). Relative risk for efficacy (all-cause mortality, combined cardiovascular mortality and hospitalisation) and safety (hyperkalaemia, hypotension, renal impairment) outcomes was calculated.

Results: Of 2151 studies identified in the search, seven studies enrolling 13,395 patients were included. Aliskiren had no effect on all-cause mortality (relative risk: 1.05, 95% confidence interval: 0.90 to 1.24, p = 0.53), or combined cardiovascular mortality or heart failure hospitalisation (relative risk: 1.07, 95% confidence interval: 0.81 to 1.40, p = 0.64). Patients receiving aliskiren had a greater risk of developing hyperkalaemia (relative risk: 1.32, 95% confidence interval: 1.14 to 1.53, p = 0.0003) and renal impairment (relative risk: 1.15, 95% confidence interval: 1.02 to 1.30, p = 0.03), but not hypotension.

Conclusion: Patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk do not benefit from the addition of aliskiren to standard medical therapy. Detrimental safety profile in pooled analysis supports current warnings.

Keywords: Aliskiren; diabetes; direct renin inhibitor; meta-analysis; renin–angiotensin inhibition; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Amides / adverse effects*
  • Cardiovascular Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / mortality
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Fumarates / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Amides
  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Fumarates
  • aliskiren