Incretin-based drugs and the risk of heart failure (Q13-40)
What is the issue?
- Incretin-based drugs are medications prescribed to lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, there is concern that they may increase the risk of heart failure.
What was the aim of the study?
- This study aimed to compare the risk of hospitalization for heart failure among patients with type 2 diabetes using incretin-based drugs to that in patients using combinations of other oral antidiabetic drugs.
How was the study conducted?
- Our investigators conducted six cohort studies with the health records of over 1.4 million patients with type 2 diabetes from four Canadian provinces and two international databases.
- Investigators identified all patients, at least 18 years of age, with a first prescription for a non-insulin antidiabetic drug. These patients were separated into two groups: those with a history of heart failure and those without a history of heart failure.
- Nested case-control analyses were performed in each group to compare the incidence of hospitalization for heart failure in those receiving incretin-based drugs to that in patients receiving combinations of other oral antidiabetic drugs. Results were then pooled across sites via meta-analysis.
What did the study find?
- We have the ability to analyze a large amount of anonymous patient data to reliably address questions about drug safety and effectiveness. The cohorts in this study included 1,499,650 patients, with 29,741 hospitalized for heart failure (incidence rate: 9.2 per 1,000 per year).
- This study found that patients using incretin-based drugs do not have a higher risk of hospitalization for heart failure compared with patients using combinations of other oral antidiabetic drugs. This was true for patients with and without a history of heart failure.
- Our study provides some reassurance that using incretin-based drugs will not put patients at a higher risk of heart failure. But medication choice needs to be a decision between physician and patient, taking medical history and other factors into account.
- Patients with type 2 diabetes using incretin-based drugs to lower their blood sugar levels do not have an increased risk of heart failure, compared to those using combinations of other oral antidiabetic drugs.
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