EVMS doctor discusses 'game changer' of medication helping patients with diabetes, heart disease

Diabetes Screening
Posted at 5:29 PM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 13:34:20-05

NORFOLK, Va. - News 3 is taking action for your health as we shine a light on Diabetes Awareness Month. Tonight, we’re reporting on a potential medical breakthrough.

This is potentially a significant finding as more than 32 million Americans live with diabetes. Add to that - diabetes is one of the main causes of heart disease.

Many in the medical community consider it a public health crisis, as there are 1 million new diagnoses of diabetes every year.

Dr. Elias Siraj with Eastern Virginia Medical School spoke with News 3 anchor Barbara Ciara about the study results of SGLT-2 inhibitors.

“It's very important to know that this medication was initially developed as a diabetes medication, but we found out it also helps patients with heart failure. Is this a game changer when you consider the treatment of both of issues?” Dr. Siraj said.

He said this category of medications has indeed been a game changer by helping with diabetes and helping heart failure patients both with and without diabetes.

“So, that's number one. The second one is has been difficult to manage those patients with the milder version of heart failure, in particular, their day-to-day symptoms. From that perspective, also that is a potentially a game changer,” he said.

According to Dr. Siraj, the EVMS study group was the first to show such a benefit in any trial with the drug for any type of heart failure. Talk to your physician to discuss if SGLT-2 inhibitors could be helpful to you or a member of your family.

Related: US health officials recommend diabetes screenings begin at age 35