BACKGROUND: Prior studies found patients treated with sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT-2i) had lower rates of death and heart failure (HF). Whether the benefits of SGLT-2i vary based upon the presence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is unknown.
OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine the association between initiation of SGLT-2i therapy and HF or death in patients with and without CVD.
METHODS: The CVD-REAL (Comparative Effectiveness of Cardiovascular Outcomes in New Users of SGLT-2 Inhibitors) study was a multinational, observational study in which adults with type 2 diabetes were identified. Patients prescribed an SGLT-2i or other glucose-lowering drugs (GLDs) were matched based on a propensity score for initiation of an SGLT-2i. Hazard ratios (HRs) for the risk of death, HF, and HF or death in patients with and without established CVD were estimated for each country and pooled.
RESULTS: After propensity score matching, 153,078 patients were included in each group. At baseline, 13% had established CVD. Compared with therapy using other GLDs, initiation of an SGLT-2i was associated with lower risk of death in patients with and without CVD (HR: 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.44 to 0.70; and HR: 0.56; 95% CI: 0.50 to 0.63, respectively). There were also associations between SGLT-2i and lower risk of HF (HR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.63 to 0.82; and HR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.48 to 0.78, respectively) and the composite of HF or death (HR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.57 to 0.70; and HR: 0.56; 95% CI: 0.50 to 0.62, respectively) observed in patients with and without established CVD.
CONCLUSIONS: In this large, multinational, observational study, initiation of SGLT-2i was associated with lower risk of death and HF regardless of pre-existing CVD. Ongoing clinical trials will provide further evidence regarding the benefit of SGLT-2i in patients without established CVD. (Comparative Effectiveness of Cardiovascular Outcomes in New Users of SGLT-2 Inhibitors [CVD-REAL]; NCT02993614)