Update on SGLT2 Inhibitors—New Data Released at the American Diabetes Association

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Sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are one of the newer classes of antiglycemic agents approved for the management of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Due to their unique mechanism of action, SGLT2 inhibitors have shown to be beneficial beyond glucose control. The improvement in cardiovascular (CV) outcomes was first observed in the landmark EMPA-REG OUTCOMES study. Following these results, numerous CV outcome trials were designed to identify whether the beneficial CV and renal effects observed with empagliflozin are unique or a drug class effect. The benefit of SGLT2 inhibition was confirmed by the CANagliflozin cardioVascular Assessment Study (CANVAS) Program, presented at the American Diabetes Association 77th Scientific Sessions. With over 10,000 patients, the CANVAS Program integrated data from two large CV outcome studies. Canagliflozin achieved a 14% reduction in the composite endpoint of CV mortality, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), or nonfatal stroke, and a 33% reduction in the risk of hospitalization for heart failure (HF) compared with placebo. Potential renal protective effects were also observed with canagliflozin; however, an increased risk of amputation with canagliflozin was seen in both CANVAS studies. The class effect of SGLT2 inhibitors was also confirmed in new analyses of the The Comparative Effectiveness of Cardiovascular Outcomes (CVD-REAL) study, which aimed to evaluate SGLT2 inhibitors (dapagliflozin, canagliflozin, and empagliflozin) in broader patient populations with type 2 diabetes mellitus. In patients who were new to SGLT2 inhibitors, significant reductions in rates of CV death and hospitalization for HF were observed compared with any other glucose-lowering agents. SGLT2 inhibitors were also associated with lower rates in hospitalization for HF in patients with and without CV disease. In addition, substudies of the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial further provided insight on the efficacy of empagliflozin across categories of adjusted control of blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) over time.

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