Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart failure and renal disease, with adult type 2 diabetic patients and their clinicians often navigating heart and renal concerns while working to control blood sugar levels.
In a recent study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, researchers examined ertugliflozin, an SGLT2 inhibitor drug prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes to help them control blood sugar levels.
They found that the drug had a safety profile similar to that of other SGLT2 inhibitors and did not increase the risk of major adverse events.
Taken together with other recent studies of SGLT2 inhibitors, the results add to a growing body of evidence that supports guidelines for using this class of drugs to help prevent heart disease.
The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine. One author is Christopher Cannon, MD, a cardiologist at the Brigham.
Recent studies of other SGLT2 inhibitors have found that they may provide a benefit to both renal and heart health.
In the study, the team examined 8,238 patients. Their average age was 64.4 and the average length of type 2 diabetes diagnosis was 13 years.
Among patients with type 2 diabetes and heart disease, major adverse heart outcomes occurred in about 12% of patients in both the ertugliflozin and placebo groups.
A combination of both cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure occurred in about 8% and 9% in the ertugliflozin and placebo groups, respectively.
Hospitalization for heart failure was 30% lower with ertugliflozin.
Ertugliflozin is the fourth drug in this class to be tested on such a large study.
The three other major SGLT2 drug trials—testing dapagliflozin, canagliflozin, and empagliflozin—produced significant benefits.
The team says this class of drugs has turned out to be a huge win for patients with benefits beyond blood glucose control.
Originally, the Food and Drug Administration had requested analyses of the safety of these medications, but studies have found that rather than causing harm, SGLT2 inhibitors show beneficial effects, lowering the risk of adverse cardiovascular and renal outcomes.
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