Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and glucagonlike peptide–1 (GLP-1) agonists were both associated with a lower mortality risk, compared with that seen with dipeptidyl peptidase–4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and in controls, in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to findings from a large network meta-analysis.
In addition, the GLP-1 agonists were associated with a higher risk of adverse events that led to study withdrawal, compared with SGLT2 inhibitors, according to the analysis conducted by Sean L. Zheng, BM BCh, of the department of endocrinology at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, London, and his coinvestigators.
“Of the 3 classes tested, SGLT2 inhibition may be preferred over the incretin-based therapies based on their association with lower mortality and their favorable adverse-event profile,” Dr. Zheng and his coinvestigators wrote in a report on the study published in.
For patients with type 2 diabetes who don’t achieve target glycemic control on metformin, Dr. Zheng and his coauthors noted, international guidelines recommend SGLT2 inhibitors or incretin-based treatments as a next step.
However, there has been little exploration of the relative clinical effectiveness of these drug classes, which has led to uncertainty about what treatment approach is optimal. “When no head-to-head trial exists, network meta-analysis can be used to estimate the effect,” the authors wrote.
To compare the efficacy of the drug classes in reducing mortality and cardiovascular outcomes, Dr. Zheng and his colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 236 randomized clinical trials including 176,310 participants.
The primary outcome of the study was all-cause mortality.