New Study Links Type 2 Diabetes Drug with Reduced Risk of Heart Failure

SGLT2 inhibitors are indicated to reduce blood glucose by causing the kidneys to remove sugar from the body through the urine.

A Scandinavian registry study has found that patients with type 2 diabetes who use sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors may be at reduced risk of heart failure, and death, compared to those that use a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitor.1

SGLT2 inhibitors are indicated to reduce blood glucose by causing the kidneys to remove sugar from the body through the urine. This treatment is FDA-approved, and the class of inhibitors include canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and empagliflozin. 2

Led by researchers in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, the study followed 21,000 patients with Type 2 diabetes. These participants began treatment with SGLT2 inhibitors from April 2013 to December 2016. Concurrently, an equally sized population began treatment with a DPP4 inhibitor, to be used for comparison.1

The researchers concluded that the use of SGLT2 inhibitors was associated with a 34% reduced risk of heart failure, when compared to DPP4 inhibitor use, and a 20% reduced risk of the secondary outcome any cause death. However, SGLT2 inhibitors were not found to be associated with a reduction of risk for major cardiovascular events.1

Nineteen percent 19% of patients in the study had history of major cardiovascular disease.1

The study was conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, Statens Serum Institute in Denmark, the NTNU in Norway, and the Swedish National Diabetes Register. Several national registries containing data on drug use, diabetes, cause of death, and other data were used to further analyze the study. 1

References

  • Pasternak B, Ueda P, Eliasson B. Use of sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors and risk of major cardiovascular events and heart failure: Scandinavian register based cohort study. The BMJ [online]. doi: 10.1136/bmj.l4772. Published August 29, 2019. Accessed September 9, 2019.
  • Food and Drug Administration. Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors. FDA website. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/sodium-glucose-cotransporter-2-sglt2-inhibitors. Published August 20, 2018. Accessed August 30, 2019.