Pharmacotherapy. 2021 Apr 18. doi: 10.1002/phar.2527. Online ahead of print.
Heart failure (HF) impacts more than 6 million Americans with an annual mortality rate approaching 22%. Along with optimizing guideline-directed management and therapy (GDMT), the development of treatment options to improve mortality and morbidity in patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) is paramount. Cardiovascular outcome trials in patients with type 2 diabetes have shown that sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors improve both cardiovascular (CV) and renal outcomes and have consistently reduced hospitalizations for HF in patients with and without a previous history of HF. A precise mechanism by which SGLT2 inhibitors provide benefits for patients with HFrEF has not been identified, and it is probable that multiple pathways may best explain the outcomes seen in recent clinical trials. The mounting evidence that SGLT2 inhibitors reduce HF-related hospitalizations in patients with type 2 diabetes led to the publication of two pivotal trials, the Dapagliflozin and Prevention of Adverse Outcomes in Heart Failure (DAPA-HF) trial and the Cardiovascular and Renal Outcomes with Empagliflozin in Heart Failure (EMPEROR-Reduced) trial. Data from these publications demonstrate significant benefit of dapagliflozin and empagliflozin on a variety of CV and HF quality of life end points in patients with HFrEF independent of the presence of type 2 diabetes. Now, widespread application of the clinical findings from the DAPA-HF and EMPEROR-Reduced trials must follow with SGLT2 inhibitors incorporated into GDMT for HFrEF regardless of the presence or absence of diabetes. In this review, we examine key literature surrounding the CV outcome data for SGLT2 inhibitors with a specific focus on patients with HFrEF.