Treatment with dapagliflozin, a common SGLT2 inhibitor, is equally beneficial for male and female heart failure (HF) patients, according to a new analysis published in JAMA Cardiology.
“Women with HF are generally older, have a greater symptom burden, lower quality of life, and more comorbidity, yet have better survival and lower rates of hospitalization for HF than men with this condition,” wrote lead author Jawad H. Butt, MD, a cardiologist at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues. “Women may also respond differently to certain HF treatments than men.”
The researchers explored data from more than 4,500 adult HF patients. All participants had a left ventricular ejection fraction of 40% or less. The cohort was randomly chosen to receive daily dapagliflozin treatment or a placebo in addition to guideline-recommended medical therapy. More than 23% of patients were men, and nearly one-half also had diabetes.
Overall, Butt et al. observed that dapagliflozin reduced the risk of worsening HF, cardiovascular death and all-cause death for all HF patients, including men and women. Symptoms were also improved for all patients, and the treatment was “safe and will-tolerated” across the board. Looking specifically at the study’s primary outcome—the composite of HF hospitalization, an urgent doctor visit for worsening HF and cardiovascular death—the team reported that benefits were “consistent” between male and female patients. There was “no interaction between sex and effect of treatment.”
Each participant’s answers to the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) were also evaluated. Though some minor differences were observed in various KCCQ scores over time, the researchers found that dapagliflozin was consistently associated with a much higher number of patients reporting a “clinically significant improvement in symptoms, physical function and health-related quality of life” than the placebo.
“Collectively, these data provide further support for dapagliflozin as a new treatment option for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction,” the authors concluded.
The full study is available here.