Evidence-based treatment of hyperglycaemia with incretin therapies in patients with type 2 diabetes and advanced chronic kidney disease

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2020 Jul;22(7):1014-1023. doi: 10.1111/dom.13986. Epub 2020 Feb 20.


Type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The prevalence of CKD is growing in parallel with the rising number of patients with type 2 diabetes globally. At present, the optimal approach to glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and advanced CKD (categories 4 and 5) remains uncertain, as these patients were largely excluded from clinical trials of glucose-lowering therapies. Nonetheless, clinical trial data are available for the use of incretin therapies, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, for patients with type 2 diabetes and advanced CKD. This review discusses the role of incretin therapies in the management of these patients. Because the presence of advanced CKD in patients with type 2 diabetes is associated with a markedly elevated risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), treatment strategies must include the reduction of both CKD and CVD risks because death, particularly from cardiovascular causes, is more probable than progression to end-stage kidney disease. The management of hyperglycaemia is essential for good diabetes care even in advanced CKD. Current evidence supports an individualized approach to glycaemic management in patients with type 2 diabetes and advanced CKD, taking account of the needs of each patient, including the presence of co-morbidities and concomitant therapies. Although additional studies are needed to establish optimal strategies for glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and advanced CKD, treatment regimens with currently available pharmacotherapy can be individually tailored to meet the needs of this growing patient population.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors; glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists; glycaemic control; hyperglycaemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors* / therapeutic use
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia* / prevention & control
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Incretins / therapeutic use
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / epidemiology


  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Incretins