Conference Coverage

Intensified approach reduces long-term heart failure risk in T2DM


AT EASD 2017

– A 70% reduction in the risk of hospitalization for heart failure was achieved in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) given an intensified, multifactorial intervention versus conventional treatment in a long-term follow up of the STENO-2 study.

Over 21 years, 34 (21%) of 160 study subjects developed heart failure; 24 (30%) had initially been treated conventionally, and 10 (13%) had initially received intensive treatment. The annualized rates of heart failure were calculated as a respective 2.4% and 0.8% (hazard ratio, 0.30; P less than .002), Jens Øllgaard, PhD, reported at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Furthermore, after adjustment was made for subject age, gender, prohormone brain natriuretic peptide levels, and ejection fraction at recruitment, there was a 76% relative risk reduction in heart failure with the intensified strategy versus conventional treatment.

“Heart failure in diabetes is frequent, fatal, and at least until very recently, quite forgotten,” said Dr. Øllgaard, who presented the research performed while he was at the STENO Diabetes Center in Copenhagen.

Dr. Øllgaard, who now works for Novo Nordisk, noted that heart failure was four times more likely to occur in patients with T2DM who had microalbuminuria than in those with normal albumin levels in the urine, and the median survival was around 3.5 years. While there is no regulatory requirement at present to stipulate that heart failure should be assessed in trials looking at the cardiovascular safety of T2DM treatments, recording such information is something that the STENO-2 investigators would recommend.

STENO-2 was an open, parallel group study initiated in 1993 to compare conventional multifactorial treatment of T2DM with an intensified approach over an 8-year period. After the primary composite cardiovascular endpoint was assessed, the trial continued as an observational study, with all patients given the intensified, multifactorial treatment that consisted of lifestyle measures and medications targeting hyperglycemia, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and hypercoagulation.

The primary endpoint of the long-term follow-up study was the difference in median survival time between the original treatment groups with and without incident cardiovascular disease. The results showed a 48% relative reduction in the risk of death; those initially given the intensified treatment had an increased lifespan of 7.9 years and an 8.1-year increased survival without cardiovascular disease versus those who had initially received conventional treatment (Diabetologica 2016;59:2298-307).

Dr. Øllgaard presented data on heart failure outcomes obtained from a post-hoc analysis of prospectively collected and externally adjudicated patient records.

In addition to the reductions in the primary outcome of time to heart failure, the secondary outcomes of time to heart failure or cardiovascular mortality (HR, 0.38; P = .006) and heart failure or all-cause mortality (relative risk reduction, 49%; P = .001) also favored initial intensive treatment versus conventional treatment.

The number of patients who would need to be treated for 1 year to prevent one heart failure event was 63. The number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent heart failure or cardiovascular death was 48, and the NNT or heart failure or all-cause death was 37.

“Intensified, multifactorial intervention reduces the risk of heart failure and underlines the need for early, intensive treatment in these patients,” Dr. Øllgaard said. “Diabetologists should be aware of this increased risk and the early clinical signs and biomarkers of heart failure.” He added the study “also emphasizes the need for close collaboration, locally and globally, between endocrinologists and cardiologists.”

The STENO-2 long-term follow-up analysis was sponsored by an unrestricted grant from Novo Nordisk. Dr. Øllgaard disclosed being employed by Novo Nordisk after the submission of the abstract for presentation at the EASD meeting.

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