A new study shows that a type 2 diabetes drug significantly reduces hospitalisations and death from heart failure.
In the study, patients with type 2 diabetes and risk factors for heart disease were randomised to receive once-daily doses of either the glucose-lowering drug empagliflozin (10 mg or 25 mg doses), or a placebo. The drug or placebo was given in addition to standard care.
Investigators found that patients treated with the drug experienced reductions in blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as weight loss, compared to those on placebo.
They also found major significant reductions in hospitalisations for heart failure, the combined result for heart failure hospitalisation or dying from heart disease and the combined result for being hospitalised or dying from heart failure.
Silvio E. Inzucchi of the Yale University and his colleagues analysed outcomes for subgroups of patients who had heart failure at the beginning of the trial and those who did not.
Inzucchi said that they found that reductions in the hospitalisation outcomes were similar between the two subgroups,
He said that one conclusion that could be proposed was that the drug not only appeared to prevent deterioration in patients who already had heart failure but also appeared to prevent that condition from developing in patients who never had it before.