SGLT2 inhibitors—namely dapagliflozin—have been linked to a reduced risk of heart failure and death, as well as decreased odds of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE).
The scientists who connected the dots—principal investigator Bjorn Pasternak and his colleagues in Sweden, Norway and Denmark—reported their findings in The BMJ Aug. 29. While SGLT2 inhibitors have been proven to reduce the risk of CV events in patients with type 2 diabetes and established CVD or a high CVD risk, the authors said those same benefits haven’t been replicated in a broader patient population.
Pasternak et al. combined data from several national Scandanavian registries to construct a pool of 21,000 patients with type 2 diabetes who’d begun treatment with an SGLT2 inhibitor between April 2013 and December 2016. During follow-up, the patients’ health was tracked and compared to that of a matched group of diabetics taking a DPP4 inhibitor—another diabetes drug.
The authors reported the use of SGLT2 inhibitors was associated with a lower risk of heart failure, but didn’t find any significant connection between SGLT2 inhibitors and MACE. The risk of heart failure was 34% lower in the SGLT2 inhibitor group compared to the DPP4 inhibitor group, and the use of SGLT2 inhibitors was linked to a 20% lower risk of all-cause death.
“Our study suggests that there is cardiovascular benefit from SGLT2 inhibitors for a broader patient group in routine clinical care,” Pasternak said in a release. “This is an important result that we believe may be of interest to patients as well as drug authorities and doctors.”