Objective: This study investigated the effects of ezetimibe, an inhibitor of intestinal cholesterol absorption, on early phase diabetic nephropathy. Methods: A total of 32 hypercholesterolaemic type 2 diabetes patients with microalbuminuria, defined as a urinary albumin excretion (UAE) ≥ 30 but < 300 mg/g creatinine, were enrolled. Various clinical and laboratory parameters were determined at baseline and after 6 months of treatment with 10 mg/day ezetimibe. Results: Ezetimibe treatment significantly decreased glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides and UAE, and significantly increased high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and albumin. It also decreased the serum level of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), but this difference was not statistically significant. Univariate analyses showed a correlation between UAE and body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, HbA1c, LDL-C, estimated glomerular filtration rate (inverse), creatinine and MCP-1. Since these parameters may be closely correlated with each other, multiple stepwise regression analysis was performed and demonstrated that HbA1c and MCP-1 were independent determinants of UAE. Conclusions: Ezetimibe may be a promising therapeutic strategy for improving albumin excretion, partly through its anti-inflammatory properties, and for reducing LDL-C in hypercholesterolaemic type 2 diabetes patients with microalbuminuria.
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