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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

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Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Mar 23, 2019


The drug dapagliflozin (DAP-AG-LI-FLOSIN), marketed as Farxiga (FAR-SIGA), which helps type 2 non-insulin dependent diabetics control their blood sugars, can help patients with heart failure as well.  

The beneficial effect of Farxiga on heart failure has been known, but the new information from the international DECLARE-TIMI study is that the drug preferentially benefits those heart failure patients with a reduced ejection fraction of 45% or less, that is the sickest patients with the weakest heart pumping action.

Farxiga helped these patients with the weakest hearts by reducing their need for hospitalization and their likelihood of dying from any causes by 38% and reduced their deaths from cardiovascular causes by 45%.  The drug also helped those with stronger hearts, but it only reduced their hospitalization and death rates by 12%.

The drug is effective for diabetics by causing the kidneys to dump excess blood sugar into the urine and out of the body.  The drug’s ability to expel body metabolites and liquid may help to reduce a weakened heart’s pumping burden.

This news is exciting, since we have few weapons in the battle against congestive heart failure.  The use of Farxiga may extend the lives and improve comfort for the many thousands with heart failure while helping the lucky few candidates for heart transplants make it to their surgery in the best possible condition.

Eri T. Kato, Michael G. Silverman, Ofri Mosenzon, etal. Effect of Dapagliflozin on Heart Failure and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Circulation, 2019; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.040130

#Heartfailure #Farxiga #dapagliflozin #diabetes #reducedejectionfraction #hearttransplant