A recent double-blind trial has investigated the association between empagliflozin (a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 [SGLT-2] inhibitor) and risk for hospitalisation in patients with heart failure. 3,730 patients with class II, III or IV heart failure and an ejection fraction ≤40% were randomly assigned to receive either 10 mg empagliflozin or placebo daily. The primary outcome (a composite of cardiovascular death or hospitalisation due to heart failure) was reported in 19.4% of the empagliflozin group and 24.7% of the placebo group during the median follow-up of 16 months (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.65 – 0.86, P<0.001). The results found in the empagliflozin group were consistent irrespective of whether patients had diabetes or not. The empagliflozin cohort had a lower number of total hospitalisations for heart failure in comparison to the placebo cohort (HR: 0.70, 95% CI: 0.58 – 0.85, P<0.001). In addition, those in the empagliflozin group experienced a slower annual decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and a reduced risk of renal adverse events in comparison to those in the placebo group. These results support the proposition that patients treated with empagliflozin for heart failure had a reduced risk for hospitalisation or cardiovascular death, irrespective of their diabetes status. The full study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, can be viewed here.

Contributed by AMSS Associate Isabella Singh