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Benefits of sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors across the spectrum of cardiovascular diseases
  1. Gaurav S Gulsin1,
  2. Matthew P M Graham-Brown2,
  3. Iain B Squire1,
  4. Melanie J Davies3,
  5. Gerry P McCann1
  1. 1 Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester and the Leicester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester, UK
  2. 2 John Walls Renal Unit, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  3. 3 Diabetes Research Centre, University of Leicester and the Leicester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Leicester General Hospital, Gwendolen Road, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gaurav S Gulsin, University of Leicester Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, Leicester, UK; gg149{at}


Sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) have emerged as a class of medications with positive cardiovascular (CV) effects across a spectrum of patients with and without type 2 diabetes (T2D). In heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, there is clear evidence that SGLT2i reduce hospitalisations and mortality regardless of the presence of diabetes, and they are now recognised as the fourth pillar of pharmacological management. Recent trial data also indicate promising effects in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. In patients with T2D and atherosclerotic CV diseases, multiple CV outcomes trials have shown reductions in major adverse CV events. Meta-analysis of these trials also shows lower rates of incident and recurrent atrial fibrillation with SGLT2i. Concerns regarding utilisation in patients with chronic kidney disease have been allayed in trials showing SGLT2i in fact have renoprotective effects. Questions still remain regarding the safety of SGLT2i in the acute heart failure setting and immediately post myocardial infarction, as well as in patients with more advanced stages of chronic kidney disease. Furthermore, studies are underway evaluating SGLT2i in patients with heart valve disease, where positive effects on left ventricular remodelling may, for example, improve functional mitral regurgitation. In this review, we summarise the available evidence of recent CV outcomes trials of SGLT2i, focusing particularly on the application of these agents across various CV diseases. We detail evidence to support increased utilisation of these drugs, which in many cases will reduce mortality and improve quality of life in patients routinely encountered by the CV specialist physician.

  • coronary artery disease
  • atrial fibrillation
  • heart failure
  • valvular heart disease
  • diabetes mellitus

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  • Contributors GSG conceived the idea for the review. GSG and MPMG-B drafted the manuscript, which was critically reviewed by GPM, IS and MJD. All authors approved the final submission.

  • Funding GPM is funded through a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Professorship (RP-2017-08-ST2-007) and GSG is supported by a British Heart Foundation Travel Fellowship (FS/TF/21/33008). All authors receive support from NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre and NIHR Leicester Clinical Research Facility.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.