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Effects of reducing blood pressure on cardiovascular outcomes and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes: Focus on SGLT2 inhibitors and EMPA-REG OUTCOME

André J Scheen
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 2016, 121: 204-214
27744129
Empagliflozin, a sodium-glucose cotransporter type 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, has shown a remarkable reduction in cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and antecedents of cardiovascular disease in the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial. This effect has been attributed to a hemodynamic rather than a metabolic effect, partly due to the osmotic/diuretic effect of empagliflozin and to the reduction in arterial blood pressure. The present review will: (1) summarize the results of specific studies having tested the blood pressure lowering effects of SGLT2 inhibitors; (2) describe the results of meta-analyses of trials having evaluated the effects on mortality and cardiovascular outcomes of lowering blood pressure in patients with T2D, with a special focus on baseline and target blood pressures; (3) compare the cardiovascular outcome results in EMPA-REG OUTCOME versus other major trials with antihypertensive agents in patients with T2D; and (4) evaluate post-hoc analyses from EMPA-REG OUTCOME, especially subgroups of patients of special interest regarding the blood pressure lowering hypothesis. Although BP reduction associated to empagliflozin therapy may partly contribute to the benefits reported in EMPA-REG OUTCOME, other mechanisms most probably play a greater role in the overall CV protection and reduction in mortality observed in this trial.

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