The cardiovascular safety profile of dapagliflozin, a selective inhibitor of sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 that promotes glucosuria in patients with type 2 diabetes, is undefined.
We randomly assigned patients with type 2 diabetes who had or were at risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease to receive either dapagliflozin or placebo. The primary safety outcome was a composite of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), defined as cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or ischemic stroke. The primary efficacy outcomes were MACE and a composite of cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure. Secondary efficacy outcomes were a renal composite (≥40% decrease in estimated glomerular filtration rate to <60 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 of body-surface area, new end-stage renal disease, or death from renal or cardiovascular causes) and death from any cause.
We evaluated 17,160 patients, including 10,186 without atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, who were followed for a median of 4.2 years. In the primary safety outcome analysis, dapagliflozin met the prespecified criterion for noninferiority to placebo with respect to MACE (upper boundary of the 95% confidence interval [CI], <1.3; P<0.001 for noninferiority). In the two primary efficacy analyses, dapagliflozin did not result in a lower rate of MACE (8.8% in the dapagliflozin group and 9.4% in the placebo group; hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.03; P=0.17) but did result in a lower rate of cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure (4.9% vs. 5.8%; hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.73 to 0.95; P=0.005), which reflected a lower rate of hospitalization for heart failure (hazard ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.61 to 0.88); there was no between-group difference in cardiovascular death (hazard ratio, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.82 to 1.17). A renal event occurred in 4.3% in the dapagliflozin group and in 5.6% in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.67 to 0.87), and death from any cause occurred in 6.2% and 6.6%, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.82 to 1.04). Diabetic ketoacidosis was more common with dapagliflozin than with placebo (0.3% vs. 0.1%, P=0.02), as was the rate of genital infections that led to discontinuation of the regimen or that were considered to be serious adverse events (0.9% vs. 0.1%, P<0.001).
In patients with type 2 diabetes who had or were at risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, treatment with dapagliflozin did not result in a higher or lower rate of MACE than placebo but did result in a lower rate of cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure, a finding that reflects a lower rate of hospitalization for heart failure.