Medication originally used for diabetes patients can be used to help patients with heart failure, according to new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Previously, research has shown that Sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors could help those with reduction ejection fraction, but the new research has found the medication can also help those with preserved ejection fraction.
The research team at the University of East Anglia (UEA) undertook a meta-analysis of all studies published in the field and brought together data from almost 10,000 patients. They used statistical modelling to show the specific effect of these medicines.
They found that patients taking SGLT2 inhibitors were 22 percent less likely to die from heart-related causes or be hospitalised for heart failure exacerbation than those taking placebo.
The new medication will “revolutionise the treatment offered to heart failure patients”
The team at UEA say it is the first drug to help all heart failure patients and are hopeful it could revolutionise treatment options.
Lead researcher Prof Vass Vassiliou, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School and an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: “For many years there was not a single medicine that could improve the outcome in patients with … preserved ejection fraction. This type of heart failure had puzzled doctors, as every medicine tested showed no benefit.
“One class of heart medication, called SGLT2 inhibitors, was initially used for patients with diabetes. However, it was noticed that it also helped patients who had heart failure.
“Previous studies had shown that this medication would be beneficial in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, but we found that it can also help heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction.”
He added: "This is the first medication that can really improve the outcomes for this patient group and it will revolutionise the treatment offered to heart failure patients."