Estimated Lifetime Cardiovascular, Kidney, and Mortality Benefits of Combination Treatment With SGLT2 Inhibitors, GLP-1 Receptor Agonists, and Nonsteroidal MRA Compared With Conventional Care in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Albuminuria

Circulation. 2024 Feb 6;149(6):450-462. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.123.067584. Epub 2023 Nov 12.


Background: Sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i), glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA), and the nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (ns-MRA) finerenone all individually reduce cardiovascular, kidney, and mortality outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and albuminuria. However, the lifetime benefits of combination therapy with these medicines are not known.

Methods: We used data from 2 SGLT2i trials (CANVAS [Canagliflozin Cardiovascular Assessment] and CREDENCE [Canagliflozin and Renal Events in Diabetes with Established Nephropathy Clinical Evaluation]), 2 ns-MRA trials (FIDELIO-DKD [Finerenone in Reducing Kidney Failure and Disease Progression in Diabetic Kidney Disease] and FIGARO-DKD [Efficacy and Safety of Finerenone in Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and the Clinical Diagnosis of Diabetic Kidney Disease]), and 8 GLP-1 RA trials to estimate the relative effects of combination therapy versus conventional care (renin-angiotensin system blockade and traditional risk factor control) on cardiovascular, kidney, and mortality outcomes. Using actuarial methods, we then estimated absolute risk reductions with combination SGLT2i, GLP-1 RA, and ns-MRA in patients with type 2 diabetes and at least moderately increased albuminuria (urinary albumin:creatinine ratio ≥30 mg/g) by applying estimated combination treatment effects to participants receiving conventional care in CANVAS and CREDENCE.

Results: Compared with conventional care, the combination of SGLT2i, GLP-1 RA, and ns-MRA was associated with a hazard ratio of 0.65 (95% CI, 0.55-0.76) for major adverse cardiovascular events (nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or cardiovascular death). The corresponding estimated absolute risk reduction over 3 years was 4.4% (95% CI, 3.0-5.7), with a number needed to treat of 23 (95% CI, 18-33). For a 50-year-old patient commencing combination therapy, estimated major adverse cardiovascular event-free survival was 21.1 years compared with 17.9 years for conventional care (3.2 years gained [95% CI, 2.1-4.3]). There were also projected gains in survival free from hospitalized heart failure (3.2 years [95% CI, 2.4-4.0]), chronic kidney disease progression (5.5 years [95% CI, 4.0-6.7]), cardiovascular death (2.2 years [95% CI, 1.2-3.0]), and all-cause death (2.4 years [95% CI, 1.4-3.4]). Attenuated but clinically relevant gains in event-free survival were observed in analyses assuming 50% additive effects of combination therapy, including for major adverse cardiovascular events (2.4 years [95% CI, 1.1-3.5]), chronic kidney disease progression (4.5 years [95% CI, 2.8-5.9]), and all-cause death (1.8 years [95% CI, 0.7-2.8]).

Conclusions: In patients with type 2 diabetes and at least moderately increased albuminuria, combination treatment of SGLT2i, GLP-1 RA, and ns-MRA has the potential to afford relevant gains in cardiovascular and kidney event-free and overall survival.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus, type 2; heart failure; mortality; renal insufficiency, chronic; treatment outcome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / drug therapy
  • Canagliflozin / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Nephropathies* / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Nephropathies* / etiology
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / pharmacology
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / therapeutic use
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic*
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors* / adverse effects


  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors
  • Canagliflozin
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1