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Promising New Results for SGLT-2 Inhibitors and Heart Health at the American Heart Association

By Karena Yan

Farxiga’s heart health benefits were the same in people with and without diabetes, as well as across a spectrum of baseline A1C levels

In September, we wrote about DAPA-HF, a landmark trial that investigated the heart health benefits of Farxiga, a once-daily SGLT-2 inhibitor pill used to treat type 2 diabetes. In this study, Farxiga became the first SGLT-2 inhibitor to show effective treatment of heart disease in people with and without type 2 diabetes. When compared to the placebo (a “nothing” pill), Farxiga reduced heart-related death or worsening heart failure by 26%.

At the American Heart Association (AHA) conference in Philadelphia, Dr. John McMurray of the University of Glasgow presented promising follow-up results to this study. Farxiga’s heart health benefits were the same in people with and without diabetes, as well as across a spectrum of baseline A1C levels.

These consistent results have prompted discussion of expanding Farxiga’s label beyond people with diabetes, or “repurposing” it to treat heart disease in people regardless of their diabetes status. In the past, cardiologists have been reluctant to adopt SGLT-2 inhibitors because they feared it would negatively affect glucose levels in people without diabetes. However, Dr. McMurray’s presentation reported no additional low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) events in people without diabetes, indicating that Farxiga is indeed safe for them to take.

In addition, Dr. Mikhail Kosiborod of the University of Missouri-Kansas City presented results on Farxiga’s effect on the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ). This survey reflects the perspectives of people with heart failure and measures their frequency and severity of symptoms, physical limitation, quality of life, and social limitation. At both the four- and eight-month checkpoints, Farxiga treatment showed significant improvements in KCCQ scores. These results support Farxiga’s potential to increase quality of life for people with and without diabetes.

Dr. Kosiborod noted that there are two key goals in heart failure management:

  • improve outcomes, such as heart-related death and hospitalizations; and

  • improve the people’s health status.

Between the DAPA-HF and KCCQ results, Farxiga has been proven to achieve both of these goals. Currently, Farxiga is only approved for type 2 diabetes in the US – but given these positive findings, we hope it will be approved for all people at risk for heart failure one day.

As a reminder, Farxiga is approved in Europe for type 1 diabetes. diaTribe would love to see more research on heart disease outcomes in people with type 1 diabetes. If you are interested in following progress on this front, please let us know!

For more information on heart health, check out diaTribe’s in-depth, two-part piece on heart failure (Part 1 and Part 2) that has been read and shared by thousands of people with diabetes.

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