APR 21, 2019 10:20 PM PDT

Type 2 Diabetic Drug Reverses Heart Failure

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

In a study published in the Journal of American Cardiology, a drug used for the treatment of diabetes—empagliflozin—was shown to improve the hearts function by reversing the progression of heart failure in non-diabetic animal models.

"This drug could be a promising treatment for heart failure in both non-diabetic and diabetic patients," said lead author Juan Badimon, MD, Professor of Cardiology and Director of the Atherothrombosis Research Unit at the Cardiovascular Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Our research can lead to a potential application in humans, save lives, and improve quality of life."

Learn more about how diabetes is related to heart disease:

In diabetes, empagliflozin limits renal sugar resorption in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Past studies have confirmed that these patients that take empagliflozin don't commonly develop heart failure despite having a higher risk due to their diabetes. These studies led researchers to wonder if the drug exerts action independent of anti-diabetic activity that is implicated in heart failure prevention.

Researchers found that the drug reversed heart failure by improving cardiac metabolism—producing more energy and function more strongly and efficiently.

"This study confirmed our hypothesis that empagliflozin is an incredibly effective treatment for heart failure and not only an antidiabetic drug. Moreover, this study demonstrated that empagliflozin is useful for heart failure independently of a patient's diabetic status. Importantly, empagliflozin switches cardiac metabolism toward fatty acid and ketone body consumption, thus allowing the production of more energy in the heart," explained co-lead author Carlos Santos-Gallego, MD, postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Empagliflozin may be a potentially effective treatment for heart failure patients. This is extremely important because heart failure is a disease with a mortality above 50 percent at 5 years. This study offers a new therapeutic strategy in heart failure, something badly needed given that there have not been new effective drugs for heart failure since the 1990s."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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