Empagliflozin demonstrated a clinical benefit for patients hospitalized for acute heart failure, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021. These benefits included increased survival, a lower risk of hospital readmission for heart failure, and an overall improvement in quality of life.
“This is the first time we have really seen this type of medication work so effectively and safely in patients who were hospitalized for acute heart failure, regardless of heart failure history or diabetes status,” said Adriaan Voors, MD, PhD, a cardiology professor at the University Medical Centre Groningen in The Netherlands, in a press release. “These results may lead to earlier and more frequent treatment with empagliflozin, which may improve the lives of more people with heart failure.”
Empagliflozin, an SGLT2 inhibitor, was originally used for the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes. It has recently become an established therapy in patients with chronic heart failure, with the EMPULSE trial designed to determine whether it had any benefit in individuals hospitalized for acute heart failure once their condition had stabilized.
The double-blind, randomized, controlled study enrolled 530 adults with an average age of 68 years, 66% of whom were men. Participants were divided into 2 groups: 1 receiving a 90-day supply of 10 mg tablets of empagliflozin and the other receiving a 90-day supply of a placebo pill. Patients were instructed to take 1 pill daily.
According to the investigators, individuals treated with empagliflozin were 36% more likely to experience a clinical benefit, such as reduced all-cause mortality, fewer heart failure events, and an improvement in heart failure symptoms compared to those receiving placebo. These improvements were observed regardless of the type of heart failure or whether they had type 2 diabetes.
“Even though there are several medicines available to improve clinical outcomes in patients with chronic heart failure, very few medicines have proven to benefit patients with new, acute onset of heart failure needing hospitalization,” Voors said in the release. “Our findings indicate that empagliflozin may help to improve outcomes for these patients without an increase in serious adverse events effects.”
Adults with acute heart failure benefit when treated with a type 2 diabetes medication [news release]. EurekAlert; November 15, 2021. Accessed November 16, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/934869