Empagliflozin for Patients With Presumed Resistant Hypertension: A Post Hoc Analysis of the EMPA-REG OUTCOME Trial

Am J Hypertens. 2020 Dec 31;33(12):1092-1101. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpaa073.


Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and resistant hypertension often coexist, greatly increasing risk of target-organ damage and death. We explored the effects of empagliflozin in patients with and without presumed resistant hypertension (prHT) in a post hoc analysis of EMPA-REG OUTCOME (NCT01131676).

Methods: Overall, 7,020 patients received empagliflozin 10, 25 mg, or placebo with median follow-up of 3.1 years. We defined baseline prHT as ≥3 classes of antihypertensive drugs including a diuretic and uncontrolled blood pressure (BP; systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥140 and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg) or ≥4 classes of antihypertensive, including a diuretic, and controlled BP. We explored the effect of empagliflozin on cardiovascular (CV) death, heart failure (HF) hospitalization, 3-point major adverse cardiac events, all-cause death, and incident/worsening nephropathy by Cox regression and BP over time by a mixed-repeated-measures-model analysis.

Results: 1,579 (22.5%) patients had prHT. The mean difference in change in SBP from baseline to week 12 vs. placebo was -4.5 (95% confidence interval, -5.9 to -3.1) mm Hg (P < 0.001) in prHT and -3.7 (-4.5, -2.9) mm Hg (P < 0.001) in patients without prHT. SBP was more frequently controlled (<130/80 mm Hg) with empagliflozin than with placebo. Patients with prHT had 1.5- to 2-fold greater risk of HF hospitalization, incident/worsening nephropathy, and CV death compared with those without prHT. Empagliflozin improved all outcomes in patients with and without prHT (interaction P > 0.1 for all outcomes).

Conclusions: Empagliflozin induced a clinically relevant reduction in SBP and consistently improved all outcomes regardless of prHT status. Due to these dual effects, empagliflozin should be considered for patients with hypertension and T2D.

Keywords: blood pressure; empagliflozin; hypertension; resistant hypertension; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01131676