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OBJECTIVE: The sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) empagliflozin and canagliflozin reduce the incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), all-cause mortality (ACM), and renal events in cardiovascular outcomes trials, with observational real-world evidence suggesting class effect benefits that include dapagliflozin. We examined the placebo arm of the Exenatide Study of Cardiovascular Event Lowering (EXSCEL) to determine whether the effects of drop-in open-label dapagliflozin on MACE, ACM, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were consistent with the SGLT2i class as a whole. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: SGLT2i drop-in therapy occurred in 10.6% of EXSCEL participants, with 5.2% taking dapagliflozin. Propensity-matched cohorts of SGLT2i users and nonusers (n = 709 per group) were generated on the basis of their characteristics before open-label SGLT2i drop-in or at baseline for participants taking SGLT2i at enrollment and an equivalent study visit for non-SGLT2i users. Time to first adjudicated MACE and ACM was analyzed using Cox regression. eGFR slopes were compared between matched cohorts using a mixed-model repeated-measures analysis. RESULTS: In adjusted analyses, SGLT2i users (compared with nonusers) had a numerically lower risk of MACE (adjusted hazard ratio 0.79 [95% CI 0.49-1.28]), as did dapagliflozin users (0.55 [0.26-1.15]). SGLT2i users had a significantly lower ACM risk (0.51 [0.27-0.95]; dapagliflozin: 0.66 [0.25-1.72]). Compared with nonusers, eGFR slope was significantly better for SGLT2i users overall (+1.78 [95% CI 0.87-2.69] mL/min/1.73 m2 per year) and for dapagliflozin users (+2.28 [1.01-3.54] mL/min/1.73 m2 per year). CONCLUSIONS: This post hoc analysis of the placebo arm of EXSCEL supports a beneficial class effect for all SGLT2i, including dapagliflozin, for reduced ACM and less eGFR decline.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Care

Publication Date





318 - 326


Aged, Benzhydryl Compounds, Canagliflozin, Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Diabetic Angiopathies, Female, Glomerular Filtration Rate, Glucosides, Humans, Incidence, Kidney, Male, Middle Aged, Placebos, Risk Factors, Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors, Treatment Outcome