Jardiance (empagliflozin) reduces the risk of major heart problems and slows down kidney disease progression in people with type 2 diabetes who also have peripheral artery disease (PAD), research reveals.
In this “extremely vulnerable population of patients”, the findings further demonstrate Jardiance’s capability of improving cardiovascular health (health of the heart and blood vessels). The SGLT2 inhibitor is the first type 2 diabetes drug in Europe to include information on cardiovascular reduction risk on its label.
Treatment with Jardiance was shown to reduce the risks of heart and kidney problems without increasing the risk of lower-limb amputation, a warning previously associated with the drug class.
Scientists at the University of Toronto said Jardiance demonstrated “profound reductions in cardiovascular mortality” in this subgroup of patients. Additional benefits included reduced hospitalisation for heart failure and renal disease progression.
These findings were part of the ongoing EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial, where four groups of patients were compared: those with and without PAD who received Jardiance or placebo. All patients had a similar mean age of 64 years and a mean HbA1c of 65 mmol/mol (8.1%).
The patients were followed up for an average of 3.1 years. Those who received empagliflozin as opposed to placebo, regardless of whether or not they had PAD, had reductions in cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality, hospitalisation for heart failure and new or worsening diabetic nephropathy.
The study team reported that 29 people with type 2 diabetes and PAD would need to be treated with empagliflozin for 3.1 years to prevent one cardiovascular death.
That there was “no signal of increased risk of amputations” was further encouraging for the researchers. In another ongoing study, the CANVAS trial, Invokana (canagliflozin), a different SGLT2 inhibitor, has been linked with increased amputation risk.
The researchers concluded: “These data have important translational implications for risk-reduction approaches in patients with type 2 diabetes and PAD.”
The results have been published online of the journal Circulation.

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