Non-insulin antihyperglycaemic drugs and heart failure: an overview of current evidence from randomized controlled trials

G. Savarese, B. Schrage, F. Cosentino, L.H. Lund, G.M.C. Rosano, P. Seferovic, J. Butler

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Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is highly prevalent in the general population and especially in patients with heart failure (HF). It is not only a risk factor for incident HF, but is also associated with worse outcomes in prevalent HF. Therefore, antihyperglycaemic management in patients at risk of or with established HF is of importance to reduce morbidity/mortality. Following revision of the drug approval process in 2008 by the Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency, several cardiovascular outcome trials on antihyperglycaemic drugs have recently investigated HF endpoints. Signals of harm in terms of increased risk of HF have been identified for thiazolidinediones and the dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitor saxagliptin, and therefore, these drugs are not currently recommended in HF. Sulfonylureas also have an unfavourable safety profile and should be avoided in patients at increased risk of/with HF. Observational studies have assessed the use of metformin in patients with HF, showing potential safety and potential survival/morbidity benefits. Overall use of glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists has not been linked with any clear benefit in terms of HF outcomes. Sodium–glucose cotransporter protein 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) have consistently shown to reduce risk of HF-related outcomes in T2DM with and without HF and are thus currently recommended to lower risk of HF hospitalization in T2DM. Recent findings from the DAPA-HF trial support the use of dapagliflozin in patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction and, should ongoing trials with empagliflozin, sotagliflozin, and canagliflozin prove efficacy, will pave the way for SGLT2i as HF treatment regardless of T2DM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3438-3451
Number of pages14
JournalESC heart failure
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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