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The role of sodium glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors in heart failure and chronic kidney disease in type 2 diabetes

Vincent Woo, Kim Connelly, Peter Lin, Philip McFarlane
Current Medical Research and Opinion 2019, 35 (7): 1283-1295
Background: Heart failure (HF) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Methods: This review discusses the significance of these comorbidities of T2D and current options for managing them, with a focus on sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors. Based on a focused literature search of cardiovascular outcomes trials (CVOTs), this review assessed the effects of SGLT-2 inhibitors in individuals with T2D with or without established cardiovascular disease (CVD). Results: In addition to effective glycemic control and weight loss, SGLT-2 inhibitor treatment of T2D prevents adverse cardiovascular and renal outcomes in individuals with and without these comorbidities. Reduced rate of hospitalization due to HF (HHF) and improved renal outcomes appear to be class effects of SGLT-2 inhibitors. Reduction in CV events may be more significant in individuals with established cardiovascular disease. Conclusions: CVOTs and other studies confirm that the SGLT-2 inhibitors, mostly used in combination with other glucose-lowering drugs, offer several clinical benefits beyond improved glycemic control. These include reducing HHF risk and improving renal outcomes. HF and renal benefits are observed in individuals with and without established CVD, which may simplify therapeutic selection. Ongoing SGLT-2 inhibitor CVOTs will help clarify the potential of these drugs to treat T2D comorbid with different forms of HF (HF with preserved vs reduced ejection fraction) and different degrees of renal dysfunction, and in individuals with T2D vs pre-diabetes or normal glucose metabolism.


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