Aims Oral glucose-lowering medications are associated with excess risk of heart failure (HF). Given the absence of comparative data among drug classes, we performed a retrospective study in 32 Health Services of 16 Italian regions accounting for a population of 18 million individuals, to assess the association between HF risk and use of sulphonylureas, DPP-4i, and glitazones. Methods and results We extracted data on patients with type 2 diabetes who initiated treatment with DPP-4i, thiazolidinediones, or sulphonylureas alone or in combination with metformin during an accrual time of 2 years. The endpoint was hospitalization for HF (HHF) occurring after the first 6 months of therapy, and the observation was extended for up to 4 years. A total of 127 555 patients were included, of whom 14.3% were on DPP-4i, 72.5% on sulphonylurea, 13.2% on thiazolidinediones, with average 70.7% being on metformin as combination therapy. Patients in the three groups differed significantly for baseline characteristics: age, sex, Charlson index, concurrent medications, and previous cardiovascular events. During an average 2.6-year follow-up, after adjusting for measured confounders, use of DPP-4i was associated with a reduced risk of HHF compared with sulphonylureas [hazard ratio (HR) 0.78; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.62-0.97; P = 0.026]. After propensity matching, the analysis was restricted to 39 465 patients, and the use of DPP-4i was still associated with a lower risk of HHF (HR 0.70; 95% CI 0.52-0.94; P = 0.018). Conclusion In a very large observational study, the use of DPP-4i was associated with a reduced risk of HHF when compared with sulphonylureas.
- Heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine