Effect of linagliptin versus placebo on cardiovascular and kidney outcomes in nephrotic-range proteinuria and type 2 diabetes: the CARMELINA randomized controlled trial.



Nephrotic-range proteinuria (NRP) is associated with rapid kidney function loss and increased cardiovascular (CV) disease risk. We assessed the effects of linagliptin (LINA) on CV and kidney outcomes in people with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) with or without NRP.


Cardiovascular and renal microvascular outcome study with LINA randomized participants with T2D and CV disease and/or kidney disease to LINA 5 mg or placebo (PBO). The primary endpoint [time to first occurrence of 3-point major adverse cardiac events (3P-MACE)], and kidney outcomes, were evaluated by NRP status [urinary albumin:creatinine ratio (UACR) ≥2200 mg/g] at baseline (BL) in participants treated with one or more dose of study medication.


NRP was present in 646/6979 [9.3% (LINA/PBO n = 317/n = 329); median UACR 3486 (Q1: 2746/Q3: 4941) mg/g] participants, who compared with no-NRP were younger (62.3/66.1 years) and had lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (39.9/56.1 mL/min/1.73 m2). Over a median of 2.2 years, 3P-MACE occurred with a 2.0-fold higher rate in NRP versus no-NRP (PBO group), with a neutral LINA effect, regardless of NRP. The composite of time to renal death, end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) or decrease of ≥40 or ≥50% in eGFR, occurred with 12.3- and 13.6-fold higher rate with NRP (PBO group); evidence of heterogeneity of effects with LINA was observed for the former [NRP yes/no: hazard ratio 0.80 (0.63-1.01)/1.25 (1.02-1.54); P-interaction 0.005], but not the latter [0.83 (0.64-1.09)/1.17 (0.91-1.51), P-interaction 0.07]. No heterogeneity was observed for renal death or ESKD [0.88 (0.64-1.21)/0.94 (0.67-1.31), P-interaction 0.79]. Glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) was significantly reduced regardless of NRP, without increasing hypoglycaemia risk. Regression to normoalbuminuria [1.20 (1.07-1.34)] and reduction of UACR ≥50% [1.15 (1.07-1.25)] from BL, occurred more frequently with LINA, regardless of NRP status (P-interactions >0.05).


Individuals with T2D and NRP have a high disease burden. LINA reduces their albuminuria burden and HbA1c, without affecting CV or kidney risk.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Wanner, Christoph, Mark E Cooper, Odd Erik Johansen, Robert Toto, Julio Rosenstock, Darren K McGuire, Steven E Kahn, Egon Pfarr, et al. (2021). Effect of linagliptin versus placebo on cardiovascular and kidney outcomes in nephrotic-range proteinuria and type 2 diabetes: the CARMELINA randomized controlled trial. Clinical kidney journal, 14(1). pp. 226–236. 10.1093/ckj/sfaa225 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22861.

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John Hunter Peel Alexander

Professor of Medicine

John H. Alexander, MD, MHS is a cardiologist and Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at Duke University School of Medicine, as well as the Vice Chief, Clinical Research in the Division of Cardiology. He is the Director of Cardiovascular Research at the Duke Clinical Research Institute where he oversees a large group of clinical research faculty and a broad portfolio of cardiovascular clinical trials and observational clinical research programs. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Alexander’s clinical interests are in acute and general cardiovascular disease, valvular heart disease, and echocardiology. His research is focused on the translation of novel therapeutic concepts into clinical data through clinical trials, specifically on the therapeutics of acute coronary syndromes, chronic coronary artery disease, and cardiac surgery and on novel methodological approaches to clinical trials. He was on the Executive Committee of the ARISTOTLE trial of apixaban in patients with atrial fibrillation and was the Principal Investigator of the APPRAISE-2 trial of apixaban in patients with acute coronary syndromes.

Dr. Alexander has published extensively and has served as the principal investigator of numerous multicenter clinical trials. He currently serves as the co-chair of the Clinical Trial Transformation Initiative (CTTI).

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