11 November 2015

Antidiabetic drug protects the heart

Scientists at Yale University, working under the guidance of Professor Silvio E. Inzucchi, during a large clinical study demonstrated that a drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes significantly reduces the likelihood of hospitalization and death from heart failure.

Many patients with diabetes mellitus develop heart failure, a condition in which the heart loses the ability to effectively pump blood through the body. The possibilities of therapy for heart failure are limited, and earlier attempts to treat patients with drugs against type 2 diabetes did not alleviate the symptoms of this condition. However, the effect on heart failure of a new class of drugs that reduce blood glucose levels by increasing its excretion in the urine and known as sodium-glucose cotransporter inhibitors, or SGLT2 inhibitors, has not yet been studied.

As part of a large clinical trial of EMPA-REG OUTCOME, patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who were at risk for developing heart disease were randomly divided into groups who received once a day a dose of the blood glucose-lowering drug empagliflozin (10 or 25 mg each) or placebo. The drug or placebo was taken as an adjunct to standard therapy.

At the end of the study period, the researchers found that patients taking the drug had a decrease in blood glucose and blood pressure, as well as a decrease in body weight, compared with patients receiving a placebo. Taking empagliflozin also reduced the frequency of hospitalizations for heart failure by 35%, the combined frequency of hospitalizations and death from heart disease by 34%, and the combined frequency of hospitalizations and death from heart failure by 39%.

In addition, the authors compared the results for subgroups of patients who had suffered heart failure at the beginning of the study and did not have this condition. It turned out that the rates of reduction in the frequency of subsequent hospitalizations for both subgroups were comparable to each other. Based on this, it can be assumed that the drug not only prevents the deterioration of the condition in patients who have already suffered heart failure, but also prevents the development of this condition in patients who have not previously had it.

The data presented on November 9 at the session of the American Heart Association complement the results originally presented at the annual congress of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, held in September in Stockholm, and published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Article by Bernard Zinman et al. Empagliflozin, Cardiovascular Outcomes, and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on materials from Yale University:
Diabetes drug reduces risk of heart failure and may prevent it, study shows.  

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