Incretin Therapies for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease

J Clin Med. 2023 Dec 29;13(1):201. doi: 10.3390/jcm13010201.


Since the early 2000s, an influx of novel glucose-lowering agents has changed the therapeutic landscape for treatment of diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists represent an important therapeutic class for the management of type 2 diabetes (T2D), demonstrating benefits beyond glycemic control, including lowering of blood pressure and body weight, and importantly, decreased risk of development of new or worsening chronic kidney disease (CKD) and reduced rates of atherosclerotic cardiovascular events. Plausible non-glycemic mechanisms that benefit the heart and kidneys with GLP-1 receptor agonists include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Further supporting their use in CKD, the glycemic benefits of GLP-1 receptor agonists are preserved in moderate-to-severe CKD. Considering current evidence, major guideline-forming organizations recommend the use of GLP-1 receptor agonists in cases of T2D and CKD, especially in those with obesity and/or in those with high cardiovascular risk or established heart disease. Evidence continues to build that supports benefits to the heart and kidneys of the dual GLP-1/glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonist tirzepatide. Ongoing outcome and mechanistic studies will continue to inform our understanding of the role of GLP-1 and dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonists in diverse patient populations with kidney disease.

Keywords: GLP-1 receptor agonists; diabetic kidney disease; kidney outcomes; tirzepatide.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.