Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are at a higher risk of developing heart failure compared with the healthy population. In recent landmark clinical trials, sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor therapies improve blood glucose control and also reduce cardiovascular events and heart failure hospitalisations in patients with type 2 diabetes. Intriguingly, such clinical benefits have also been seen in patients with heart failure in the absence of type 2 diabetes although the underlying mechanisms are not clearly understood. Potential pathways include improved glycaemic control, diuresis, weight reduction and reduction in blood pressure, but none fully explain the observed improvements in clinical outcomes. More recently, novel mechanisms have been proposed to explain these benefits that include improved cardiomyocyte calcium handling, enhanced myocardial energetics, induced autophagy and reduced epicardial fat. We provide an up-to-date review of cardiac-specific SGLT2 inhibitor-mediated mechanisms and highlight studies currently underway investigating some of the proposed mechanisms of action in cardiovascular health and disease.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1032 - 1038


heart failure, heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, pharmacology, systemic review