Background Early reduction in albuminuria with an SGLT2 (sodium-glucose cotransporter 2) inhibitor may be a positive indicator of long-term cardiovascular and renal benefits. We assessed changes in albuminuria during the first 12 weeks of treatment and subsequent long-term cardiovascular and renal risks associated with the SGLT2 inhibitor, empagliflozin, in the EMPA-REG OUTCOME (Empagliflozin Cardiovascular Outcome Event Trial in Type 2 diabetes Mellitus Patients) trial. Methods and Results We calculated the percentage urinary albumin creatinine ratio (UACR) change from baseline to week 12 in 6820 participants who did not experience a cardiovascular outcome (including 3-point major cardiovascular events and cardiovascular death or hospitalization for heart failure) or renal outcome (defined as 40% decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate from baseline, estimated glomerular filtration rate <15 mL/min per 1.73 m2, need for continuous renal-replacement therapy, or renal death) during the first 12 weeks. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) for each 30% reduction in UACR with outcomes. Empagliflozin reduced UACR by 18% (95% CI, 14-22) at week 12 compared with placebo, and increased the likelihood of a >30% reduction in UACR (odds ratio, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.27-1.58; P<0.001). During 3.0 years of follow-up, 704 major cardiovascular events, 440 cardiovascular deaths/hospitalizations for heart failure, and 168 renal outcomes were observed. Each 30% decrease in UACR during the first 12 weeks was statistically significantly associated with a lower hazard for major cardiovascular events (HR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.99; P=0.012), cardiovascular deaths/hospitalizations for heart failure (HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.91-0.98; P=0.003), and renal outcomes (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.78-0.89; P<0.001). Conclusions Short-term reduction in UACR was more common with empagliflozin and was statistically significantly associated with a decreased risk of long-term cardiovascular and renal outcomes. Registration URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01131676.
Keywords: cardiovascular outcomes; empagliflozin; kidney (diabetes); sodium‐glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors.