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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2016 Nov;121:204-214. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2016.09.016. Epub 2016 Sep 28.

Effects of reducing blood pressure on cardiovascular outcomes and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes: Focus on SGLT2 inhibitors and EMPA-REG OUTCOME.

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Division of Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders, Department of Medicine, CHU Liège, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium; Clinical Pharmacology Unit, CHU Liège, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Medicines (CIRM), University of Liège, Liège, Belgium. Electronic address:


Empagliflozin, a sodium-glucose cotransporter type 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, has shown a remarkable reduction in cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and antecedents of cardiovascular disease in the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial. This effect has been attributed to a hemodynamic rather than a metabolic effect, partly due to the osmotic/diuretic effect of empagliflozin and to the reduction in arterial blood pressure. The present review will: (1) summarize the results of specific studies having tested the blood pressure lowering effects of SGLT2 inhibitors; (2) describe the results of meta-analyses of trials having evaluated the effects on mortality and cardiovascular outcomes of lowering blood pressure in patients with T2D, with a special focus on baseline and target blood pressures; (3) compare the cardiovascular outcome results in EMPA-REG OUTCOME versus other major trials with antihypertensive agents in patients with T2D; and (4) evaluate post-hoc analyses from EMPA-REG OUTCOME, especially subgroups of patients of special interest regarding the blood pressure lowering hypothesis. Although BP reduction associated to empagliflozin therapy may partly contribute to the benefits reported in EMPA-REG OUTCOME, other mechanisms most probably play a greater role in the overall CV protection and reduction in mortality observed in this trial.


Blood pressure; Diuretic; Empagliflozin; Hypertension; SGLT2 inhibitor; Type 2 diabetes

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