Diabetes drugs may benefit lots of people with heart failure

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In a study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, scientists found that drugs originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes may benefit a wide range of patients with heart failure.

They showed that the drug dapagliflozin, which had previously been shown to benefit patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, is likely to also reduce death and hospitalization for patients with mildly reduced or preserved ejection fraction—a population of millions of patients who have had limited therapeutic options.

A meta-analysis and review further strengthened the evidence that this class of drugs may provide protection for a wide range of heart failure patients.

The team says that treatment with the SGLT2 inhibitor dapagliflozin can benefit patients across the full spectrum of heart failure.

These findings establish SGLT2 inhibitors as foundational treatment for patients living with heart failure, regardless of ejection fraction, to help prevent hospitalization and morbidity and to extend meaningful survival, and improve health-related quality of life.

The meta-analysis, encompassing more than 12,000 patients, provides a summary of the totality of the evidence and drives home the message that, when it comes to heart failure, this is a therapy for all.

These trials included patients across a broad range of ages, races, functional classes, sex, and medical histories, but regardless of individual characteristics, they benefited consistently from this treatment.

Dapagliflozin is a sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor—a class of drugs that cause the body to excrete sugar in the urine.

In addition to controlling blood sugar in patients with diabetes, SGLT-2 inhibitors have been shown to provide significant cardiovascular and kidney disease benefits.

The team says there are more than 64 million people worldwide affected by heart failure, half of whom have mildly reduced or preserved ejection fraction.

The goal is to rigorously and scientifically evaluate potential treatments so that we can provide the best evidence-based care to help them lead longer, healthier lives.

If you care about heart failure, please read studies about common symptoms of heart failure you need to know, and this drug could benefit people with heart failure

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about how to live with heart failure, and results showing drinking water may reduce your risk of heart failure.

The study was conducted by Scott Solomon et al and published in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet.

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