Type 2 diabetes medicine cuts risk of CV death independent of background blood sugar control

Empagliflozin tablets reduced the risk of cardiovascular death by 38 percent in people with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of more than 7,000 patients. And new analyses demonstrate a similar benefit was seen in all patients, regardless of blood sugar levels at baseline or after the introduction of background treatment.

The findings were presented at the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes’ annual meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.

The trial included patients from 42 countries and assessed the effect of empagliflozin when added to the standard of care—including glucose-lowering agents and cardiovascular drugs—for type 2 diabetes with concurrent CVD. Researchers tracked the time to first occurrence of cardiovascular death, non-fatal heart attack or non-fatal stroke.

"Now that we have a new option for reducing the risk of cardiovascular death among adults with type 2 diabetes, we are striving to better understand if there are differences in how adults with type 2 diabetes can benefit," presenter Silvio Inzucchi, MD, Yale School of Medicine, said in a statement.

Empagliflozin, which goes by the brand name Jardiance, helps control blood sugar levels. It is the first and only oral type 2 diabetes medicine approved to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in patients with known CVD.

And now, the drug has been shown to have a positive effect on a greater number of these patients.

"We're pleased that Jardiance's life-saving cardiovascular benefit to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death was consistent in the trial regardless of the baseline variables we tested, including blood sugar levels,” said Rogelio Braceras, MD, with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, in a statement.