Effects of dapagliflozin on mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease: a pre-specified analysis from the DAPA-CKD randomized controlled trial

Hiddo J L Heerspink, C David Sjöström, Niels Jongs, Glenn M Chertow, Mikhail Kosiborod, Fan Fan Hou, John J V McMurray, Peter Rossing, Ricardo Correa-Rotter, Raisa Kurlyandskaya, Bergur V Stefansson, Robert D Toto, Anna Maria Langkilde, David C Wheeler
European Heart Journal 2021 March 31, 42 (13): 1216-1227

AIMS: Mortality rates from chronic kidney disease (CKD) have increased in the last decade. In this pre-specified analysis of the DAPA-CKD trial, we determined the effects of dapagliflozin on cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular causes of death.

METHODS AND RESULTS: DAPA-CKD was an international, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with a median of 2.4 years of follow-up. Eligible participants were adult patients with CKD, defined as a urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) 200-5000 mg/g and an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) 25-75 mL/min/1.73 m2. All-cause mortality was a key secondary endpoint. Cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular death was adjudicated by an independent clinical events committee. The DAPA-CKD trial randomized participants to dapagliflozin 10 mg/day (n = 2152) or placebo (n = 2152). The mean age was 62 years, 33% were women, the mean eGFR was 43.1 mL/min/1.73 m2, and the median UACR was 949 mg/g. During follow-up, 247 (5.7%) patients died, of whom 91 (36.8%) died due to cardiovascular causes, 102 (41.3%) due to non-cardiovascular causes, and in 54 (21.9%) patients, the cause of death was undetermined. The relative risk reduction for all-cause mortality with dapagliflozin (31%, hazard ratio [HR] [95% confidence interval (CI)] 0.69 [0.53, 0.88]; P = 0.003) was consistent across pre-specified subgroups. The effect on all-cause mortality was driven largely by a 46% relative risk reduction of non-cardiovascular death (HR [95% CI] 0.54 [0.36, 0.82]). Deaths due to infections and malignancies were the most frequently occurring causes of non-cardiovascular deaths and were reduced with dapagliflozin vs. placebo.

CONCLUSION: In patients with CKD, dapagliflozin prolonged survival irrespective of baseline patient characteristics. The benefits were driven largely by reductions in non-cardiovascular death.

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