In a new study from the University Medical Centre Groningen, researchers found people treated with empagliflozin during hospitalization for heart failure had increased survival, lower risk of heart failure hospital readmission and an overall improvement in their quality of life.
Empagliflozin is a medication originally used to treat people with type 2 diabetes and has recently become an established therapy in patients with chronic heart failure.
The study set out to determine whether this medication, an SGLT2 inhibitor, could help adults hospitalized for acute heart failure once their condition had stabilized.
Heart failure is classified as “acute” when patients experience fluid build-up in the lungs, and it requires urgent treatment and hospitalization.
Once released from the hospital, these patients are at a greater risk of death, re-hospitalization and a lower quality of life.
In the study, 530 adults with an average age of 68 were enrolled, of which 66% of participants were men. Participants had been hospitalized for acute heart failure, however, their conditions had to be stable before trial enrollment.
The participants were divided into two equal groups: one group received a 90-day supply of 10 mg tablets of empagliflozin; the second group received a 90-day supply of placebo pills. They were instructed to take one tablet daily for 90 days.
Researchers found that people treated with empagliflozin were 36% more likely to have reduced all-cause mortality, fewer heart failure events and an improvement in heart failure symptoms.
Participants experienced improvements 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
These findings suggest that empagliflozin may help to improve outcomes for these patients without an increase in serious adverse events effects.
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The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021. One author of the study is Adriaan Voors, M.D., Ph.D.
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