This diabetes drug could effectively treat heart failure, study finds

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In a new study, researchers found that a drug used to treat diabetes is able to reduce hospitalizations and cardiovascular deaths in patients with heart failure by 33%.

They found that sotagliflozin, a diabetes medication, is effective when used as a therapy for patients with worsening heart failure requiring hospitalization.

The research was conducted by a team at St. Michael’s Hospital and elsewhere.

The team has been testing the effects of diabetes medications on patients with heart failure for over a year.

The first study tested dapagliflozin—a medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes—as a treatment on patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction, which happens when the muscle of the left ventricle is not pumping as well as normal.

The group of patients who received dapagliflozin showed a lower risk of worsening heart failure or death from cardiovascular causes.

In a follow-up analysis, this effect was found to be similar in those with and without diabetes.

The second trial demonstrated the efficacy of empagliflozin—also a medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes—in lowering the risk of cardiovascular death or hospitalization in patients with more advanced heart failure and a reduced ejection fraction.

This new study tested whether the drug sotagliflozin can be used in hospitals or within three days of discharge.

The benefit of sotagliflozin was consistent in patients regardless of their ejection fraction—a measurement of how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction.

The results suggest these new treatments can reduce left ventricular mass after a period of six months and remodel the heart.

One author of the study is Dr. Subodh Verma, a cardiovascular surgeon.

The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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