Diabetic patients need higher furosemide doses: a report on acute and chronic heart failure patients

J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown). 2020 Jan;21(1):21-26. doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000000896.


Introduction: Diuretics are first-line drugs in symptomatic heart failure treatment. Diabetes mellitus has been suggested as a determinant of diuretic resistance. Studies comparing the dose and efficacy of diuretics in patients with and without diabetes are lacking. We aimed to study if furosemide dose differed according to diabetes status.

Methods: We studied two cohorts of heart failure patients: a cohort of acute heart failure patients consecutively hospitalized with the primary diagnosis of heart failure and another of stable and optimized patients followed in a heart failure clinic. Data on comorbidities and medication were abstracted from patients' files. Use and doses of furosemide were compared between diabetic and nondiabetic patients. Regression analysis was used to determine the association of variables with diuretic dose. The independent association of diabetes with furosemide dose was assessed using multivariate models.

Results: We studied 865 heart failure patients: 601 acute heart failure patients and 264 chronic stable heart failure patients. Acute heart failure patients with diabetes were more likely to need intravenous diuretic therapy and they were also more often discharged under higher doses of furosemide. They needed extra 6-mg furosemide at discharge in comparison with their nondiabetics counterparts and had an independent 26% higher odds of being discharged with at least 80-mg furosemide. Chronic patients were also more frequently prescribed with furosemide and on higher doses, although, diabetes was not independently associated with the use of higher furosemide doses.

Conclusion: Diabetic patients are more intensively treated with the loop diuretic furosemide. In acute heart failure, diabetes is an independent predictor of furosemide dose.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / physiopathology
  • Drug Resistance
  • Female
  • Furosemide / administration & dosage*
  • Furosemide / adverse effects
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge
  • Recovery of Function
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sodium Potassium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Sodium Potassium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Sodium Potassium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors
  • Furosemide