In a new study, researchers found that drugs known as sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are linked to a lower risk of major heart problems in patients with type 2 diabetes than drugs dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors.
Previous trials have shown that SGLT2 inhibitors can reduce the risk of heart conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.
In the study, the team compared the risk of cardiovascular events between SGLT2 inhibitors and DPP-4 inhibitors among adults with type 2 diabetes in a “real world” clinical practice setting.
Their findings are based on healthcare data from seven Canadian provinces and the United Kingdom from 2013-18 (a total of 209,867 new users of a SGLT2 inhibitor matched to 209,867 users of a DPP-4 inhibitor).
Major heart problems (a combination of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death) as well as heart failure and death from any cause (“all cause mortality”) were recorded for an average of 11 months.
The team found that compared with DPP-4 inhibitors, SGLT2 inhibitors were linked to a reduced risk of heart attack, stroke or heart death combined.
SGLT2 inhibitors were also linked to decreased risks of heart attack, cardiovascular death, heart failure and all cause mortality. SGLT2 inhibitors had more modest benefits for stroke.
Results were similar in subgroups defined by patient age, sex, past insulin use, and history of heart disease.
The results were consistent across several analyses, suggesting that they withstand scrutiny.
As such, the researchers say these findings suggest that SGLT2 inhibitors offer heart benefits among people with type 2 diabetes in a real world setting.
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The study is published in The BMJ.
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