In a fully remote trial, researchers found that canagliflozin, originally developed to treat type-2 diabetes, appeared to greatly improve symptoms and quality of life in adults with heart failure, whether or not they also had type 2 diabetes. Findings from the study were presented at American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021.
Findings from this study and other SGLT2 inhibitor trials are “transformational” and should significantly impact care, according to the study’s lead author, John A Spertus, MD, MPH, professor and Daniel J. Lauer Endowed Chair in Metabolism and Vascular Disease Research at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. “The impact of this class of medicines on patients’ function and quality of life is larger than many other medications used to treat heart failure, and they are very safe.”
Participants in the randomized placebo-controlled study completed the trial without any face-to-face visits by completing the self-report Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) on a smart phone. Symptom and quality of life benefits were evident as early as two weeks into taking canagliflozin and were sustained throughout the three-month testing period. Heart failure symptom improvements were similar among participants regardless of their type of heart failure or diabetes status.
While the study was limited by a relatively small sample size and the innate inability to collect detailed biochemical and imaging data, researchers believed that the success of the fully remote trial could serve as a model for potentially faster and more cost-effective clinical trials in the future.