Glucose-Lowering Medication Use in CKD: Analysis of US Medicare Beneficiaries Between 2007 and 2016

Julie Z. Zhao, Eric D. Weinhandl, Angeline M. Carlson, Wendy L. St. Peter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Information regarding the use of glucose-lowering medications in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is limited. Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting & Participants: Medicare 5% random sample of patients with CKD with type 2 diabetes, 2007 to 2016. Predictors: Study year, CKD stage, low-income subsidy status, and demographic characteristics (age, sex, and race/ethnicity). Outcomes: Trends in use of glucose-lowering medications. Analytical Approach: Yearly cohorts of patients with CKD and type 2 diabetes were created. Descriptive statistics were used to report proportions of patients using glucose-lowering medications. To test overall trends in glucose-lowering medication classes, linear probability models with adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, CKD stage, and low-income subsidy status were used. Results: Metformin use increased significantly from 32.7% in 2007 to 48.7% in 2016. Use of newer classes of glucose-lowering medications increased significantly, including dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors (5.6%, 2007; 21.7%, 2016), glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (2.3%, 2007; 6.1%, 2016), and sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (0.2%, 2013; 3.3%, 2016). Newer insulin analogue use increased from 37.2% in 2007 to 46.3% in 2013 and then remained steady. Use of sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, older insulins (human regular and neutral protamine Hagedorn), α-glucosidase inhibitors, amylin mimetics, and meglitinides decreased significantly. Insulin was the most highly used single medication class. Insulin use was higher among low-income subsidy than among non–low-income subsidy patients. Combination therapy was less common as CKD stage increased. Limitations: Patients with CKD and type 2 diabetes and the CKD stages were identified with diagnosis codes and could not be verified through medical record review. Our results may not be generalizable to younger patients with CKD with type 2 diabetes. Conclusions: Use of metformin and newer glucose-lowering medication classes is increasing in patients with CKD with type 2 diabetes. We anticipate that percentages of patients with CKD using these newer agents will increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalKidney Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors


  • CKD stage
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Medicare Part D
  • diabetes
  • glucose-lowering medications
  • utilization trends

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Glucose-Lowering Medication Use in CKD: Analysis of US Medicare Beneficiaries Between 2007 and 2016'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this