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Sodium-glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibitors: Potential Cardiovascular and Mortality Benefits

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 2 ]


Dragan Lovic*, Andreas Pittaras, Manolis Kallistratos, Constantinos Tsioufis, Charalampos Grassos, Dragan Djordjevic, Ivan Tasic and Athanasios Manolis   Pages 114 - 119 ( 6 )


Background: The impact of overt diabetes and poor glycemic control on the risk of cardiovascular disease is well established. Among patients with type 2 diabetes, several studies demonstrated a significant increase in coronary artery disease-related death and cardiovascular events associated with HbA1c levels of greater than 7% compared with lower levels. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors are a novel class of anti-diabetic drugs that lower blood glucose levels through the suppression of renal glucose reabsorption thereby promoting renal glucose excretion.

Objectives: To summarize data on the potential mechanisms of SGLT-2 inhibition that could exert cardiovascular benefits in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Method: We conducted an in-depth literature search of SGLT-2 inhibitors and potential cardiovascular benefits and mechanisms that mediate those effects.

Results: In diabetes, expression of the SGLT-2 genes is up-regulated and renal threshold increased, resulting in increased glucose reabsorption from glomerular filtrate, reducing urinary glucose excretion and worsening hyperglycemia. SGLT-2 inhibition should offer potential cardiovascular protection in diabetic patients via attenuating hyperglycemia, blood pressure, body weight, hyperuricemia, and diabetic nephropathy.

Conclusion: The initial data of SGLT-2 inhibitors suggest beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk among patients with diabetes mellitus. Several mechanisms are hypothesized to mediate the abovementioned benefits. Future randomized, controlled studies are needed in order to unveil the contribution of each mechanism to these outcomes.


SGLT-2 inhibitors, cardiovascular risk, cardiovascular events, blood pressure, body weight, renal function.


Clinic for Internal Disease Intermedica, Cardiology Department, Hypertension Center, Nis, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, George Washington University, Washington, DC, Asklepeion General Hospital, Cardiology Department, Athens, First Cardiology Clinic, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Hippokration Hospital, Athens, Cardiology Department, KAT General Hospital, Athens, Medical Faculty, University of Nis, Institute Niska Banja, Nis, Medical Faculty, University of Nis, Institute Niska Banja, Nis, Cardiology Department, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

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