Metabolic syndrome in patients with type 2 diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: a post hoc analyses of the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial

Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2020 Nov 26;19(1):200. doi: 10.1186/s12933-020-01174-6.


Background: Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are at greater cardiovascular risk than those with T2D without MetS. In the current report we aim to study the characteristics, cardio-renal outcomes and the effect of empagliflozin in patients with MetS enrolled in the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial.

Methods: A total of 7020 patients with T2D and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease were treated with empagliflozin (10 mg or 25 mg) or placebo for a median of 3.1 years. The World Health Organization MetS criteria could be determined for 6985 (99.5%) patients. We assessed the association between baseline MetS and multiple cardio-renal endpoints using Cox regression models, and we studied the change in the individual component over time of the MetS using mixed effect models.

Results: MetS at baseline was present in 5740 (82%) patients; these were more often white and had more often albuminuria and heart failure, had lower eGFR and HDL-cholesterol, and higher blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference, and triglycerides. In the placebo group, patients with MetS had a higher risk of all outcomes including cardiovascular death: HR = 1.73 (95% CI 1.01-2.98), heart failure hospitalization: HR = 2.64 (95% CI 1.22, 5.72), and new or worsening nephropathy: HR = 3.11 (95% CI 2.17-4.46). The beneficial effect of empagliflozin was consistent on all cardio-renal outcomes regardless of presence of MetS.

Conclusions: A large proportion of the EMPA-REG OUTCOME population fulfills the criteria for MetS. Those with MetS had increased risk of adverse cardio-renal outcomes. Compared with placebo, empagliflozin improved cardio-renal outcomes in patients with and without MetS. Trial registration Clinical Trial Registration: URL: . Unique identifier: NCT01131676.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Empagliflozin; Metabolic syndrome; Treatment effect; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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