Differential effects of β-blockers on albuminuria in patients with type 2 diabetes
Increases in the cardiovascular risk marker microalbuminuria are attenuated by blood pressure reduction using blockers of the renin-angiotensin system. Such changes in microalbuminuria have not been observed when beta-blockers are used. A prespecified secondary end point of the Glycemic Effects in Diabetes Mellitus Carvedilol-Metoprolol Comparison in Hypertensives (GEMINI) trial was to examine the effects of different beta-blockers on changes in albuminuria in the presence of renin-angiotensin system blockade. Participants with hypertension and type 2 diabetes were randomized to either metoprolol tartrate (n=737) or carvedilol (n=498) in blinded fashion after a washout period of all antihypertensive agents except for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers. Blinded medication was titrated to achieve target blood pressure, with a-5 month follow-up period. The current analysis examined microalbuminuria, using spot urine albumin:creatinine, in participants who had values at screening and trial end. A greater reduction in microalbuminuria was observed for those randomized to carvedilol (-16.2%Delta; 95% confidence interval, -25.3, -5.9; P=0.003). Of those with normoalbuminuria at baseline, fewer progressed to microalbuminuria on carvedilol versus metoprolol (20 of 302 [6.6%] versus 48 of 431 [11.1%], respectively; P=0.03). Microalbuminuria development was not related to differences in blood pressure or achievement of blood pressure goal (68% carvedilol versus 67%, metoprolol). Presence of metabolic syndrome at baseline was the only independent predictor of worsening albuminuria throughout the study (P=0.004). Beta-blockers have differential effects on microalbuminuria in the presence of renin-angiotensin system blockade. These differences cannot be explained by effects on blood pressure or alpha1-antagonism but may relate to antioxidant properties of carvedilol.