Circulation. 2020 Oct 23. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.051685. Online ahead of print.
Background: In EMPEROR-Reduced, empagliflozin reduced cardiovascular death or HF hospitalization, total HF hospitalizations, and slowed the progressive decline in kidney function in patients with HF and a reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), with and without diabetes. We aim to study the effect of empagliflozin on cardiovascular and kidney outcomes across the spectrum of kidney function. Methods: In this pre-specified analysis, patients were categorized by the presence or absence of CKD at baseline (eGFR<60ml/min/1.73m2 or UACR>300mg/g). The primary and key secondary outcomes were (1) a composite of cardiovascular death or HF hospitalization (primary outcome); (2) total HF hospitalizations, and (3) eGFR slope. The direct impact on kidney events was investigated by a prespecified composite kidney outcome (defined as a sustained profound decline in eGFR, chronic dialysis or transplant). The median follow-up was 16 months. Results: 3730 patients were randomized to empagliflozin or placebo, of whom 1978 (53%) had CKD. Empagliflozin reduced the primary outcome and total HF hospitalizations in patients with and without CKD: primary outcome HR=0.78 (95%CI=0.65-0.93) and HR=0.72 (95%CI=0.58-0.90), respectively; interaction P=0.63. Empagliflozin slowed the slope of eGFR decline by 1.11 (0.23-1.98) ml/min/1.73m2/year in patients with CKD and by 2.41 (1.49-3.32) ml/min/1.73m2/year in patients without CKD. The risk of the composite kidney outcome was reduced similarly in patients with and without CKD: HR=0.53 (95%CI=0.31-0.91) and HR=0.46 (95%CI=0.22-0.99), respectively. The effect of empagliflozin on the primary composite outcome and the key secondary outcomes was consistent across a broad range of baseline kidney function, measured by clinically relevant eGFR subgroups or by albuminuria, including patients with eGFR as low as 20 ml/min/1.73m2. Empagliflozin was well tolerated in CKD patients. Conclusions: In EMPEROR-reduced, empagliflozin had a beneficial effect on the key efficacy outcomes and slowed the rate of kidney function decline in patients with and without CKD and regardless of the severity of kidney impairment at baseline. Clinical Trial Registration: URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov Unique Identifier: NCT03057977.