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Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2017 May 3;13:603-611. doi: 10.2147/TCRM.S97619. eCollection 2017.

Differential cardiovascular profiles of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors: critical evaluation of empagliflozin.

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Division of Cardiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Audie L Murphy VA Hospital, San Antonio, TX.
Interventional Cardiology-Structural Heart Disease, Cardiology Consultants at Baptist Heart and Vascular Institute, Pensacola, FL, USA.


One of the most feared repercussions of type 2 diabetes mellitus is the risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes. The current antidiabetic agents on the market have had difficulty in showing cardiovascular outcome improvement. The EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial studied the sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor empagliflozin in type 2 diabetic patients at high risk of cardiovascular events. The trial results revealed a decrease in the composite primary end points of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and nonfatal stroke in those taking empagliflozin vs placebo. Those taking the medication also had a significant decrease in death from any cause, death from cardiovascular cause, and hospitalization for heart failure. The EMPA-REG trial is paradigm shifting because it demonstrates a clear mortality benefit to cardiovascular outcomes with a low side-effect profile, in contrast to prior outcome studies of hypoglycemic agents. Further studies are required to better clarify the long-term safety and efficacy of this promising class of diabetic drugs.


SGLT2 inhibitors; cardiovascular mortality; diabetes; heart failure; hypertension

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure Dr Robert Chilton serves on advisory boards and research for BI, Lilly, Takada, Pfizer, and MSD. The authors report no further conflicts of interest in this work.

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