High blood pressure, often resistant to treatment, can pose serious risks to individuals with heart failure.
A recent analysis of a clinical trial published in Circulation suggests that a common diabetes medication, dapagliflozin, may offer hope by slightly lowering high blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart failure events like stroke.
Heart failure with mildly reduced or preserved ejection fraction, a condition characterized by stiffening of the heart muscle, affects millions of Americans.
Patients with this condition are at increased risk of adverse outcomes, including stroke and impaired kidney function when they also have treatment-resistant high blood pressure.
The study, led by Dr. Sanjiv Shah, examined the effects of dapagliflozin on this specific group of patients.
Dapagliflozin is a medication used to treat diabetes by blocking glucose absorption in the kidney, resulting in sodium and water loss through urine, which can help manage fluid retention in heart failure patients.
In the study, researchers analyzed the data from a previous clinical trial involving heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction.
Of the 6,263 participants, 718 had treatment-resistant high blood pressure, meaning their blood pressure remained uncontrolled despite taking three antihypertensive drugs, including a diuretic.
The results showed that patients with treatment-resistant high blood pressure experienced the most significant reduction in cardiovascular events while taking dapagliflozin compared to those with controlled blood pressure.
Although dapagliflozin slightly lowered systolic blood pressure, it did not lead to a significant number of participants achieving healthy blood pressure.
Dr. Shah emphasized the need for further research to identify the most effective drug combinations for heart failure patients with treatment-resistant high blood pressure.
He suggested that future treatments might involve combinations of drugs, including SGLT2 inhibitors like dapagliflozin, tailored to each patient’s needs. These combinations could improve adherence and the efficacy of heart failure medications.
The study highlights the potential of dapagliflozin as a valuable addition to heart failure treatment, even with modest reductions in blood pressure.
As research continues, personalized drug combinations may play a crucial role in improving outcomes for individuals with treatment-resistant high blood pressure and heart failure.
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The research findings can be found in Circulation.
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