The influence of anti-hyperglycemic drug therapy on cardiovascular and heart failure outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Rabea Asleh, Mohammad Sheikh-Ahmad, Alexandros Briasoulis, Sudhir S. Kushwaha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) are at a substantially increased risk of heart failure (HF) and HF mortality. Despite the lack of evidence that tight glycemic control reduces the incidence of cardiovascular (CV) events, a growing body of evidence suggests that the choice of glucose-lowering agents may influence outcomes including HF. Thiazolidinediones are associated with a significant risk of HF. For metformin, sulphonylureas and insulin, little data is available to indicate the impact on HF. The glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists, liraglutide and semaglutide, have been shown to reduce major CV events, but did not affect rates of hospitalization for HF. Clinical trials have demonstrated diverse effects of Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors on HF; saxagliptin showed an increased risk of HF admissions, alogliptin was associated with higher rates of new HF admissions, while sitagliptin had a neutral effect. The sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, empagliflozin and canagliflozin, have been recently shown to reduce the incidence of HF and cardiovascular mortality in patients with and without a history of HF. This review will summarize key findings of the impact of glucose-lowering agents on CV safety and HF-associated outcomes, present available data on the underlying mechanisms for the benefits of the SGLT2 inhibitors on HF, and discuss strategies to improve outcomes in patients with DM and high CV risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalHeart Failure Reviews
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 22 2017



  • Diabetes mellitus
  • GLP-1 agonists
  • Glucose-lowering drugs
  • Heart failure
  • Outcome
  • SGLT2 inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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