No Link Found Between Diabetes Treatment and Mortality

Researchers were unable to find a strong link between diabetes drugs and cardiovascular mortality.

Findings from a recent study indicate no significant association between glucose-lowering drugs and the risk of cardiovascular or all-cause mortality.

The drugs treat type 2 diabetes and prevent complications, but clinical trials have not been able to determine whether the drug can prevent cardiovascular death. In a meta-analysis published by JAMA, researchers reviewed 301 clinical trials to determine the efficacy and safety of glucose-lowering drugs.

Included in the current study were 177 trials where the drugs were administered as monotherapy, 109 trials that added metformin to the glucose-lowering drug, and 29 trials that added metformin and sulfonyleurea to the drug. Approximately 120,000 patients were enrolled in the trials.

They discovered no significant differences between the treatments and cardiovascular or all-cause mortality. They also did not find differences regarding adverse events, heart attack, or stroke.

Researchers noted that despite all of the trials, there was limited evidence that these drugs increased life-expectancy or prevented cardiovascular disease.

“Metformin was associated with lower or no significant difference in HbAlC levels compared with any other drug classes. All drugs were estimated to be effective when added to metformin,” the researchers wrote. “These findings are consistent with American Diabetes Association recommendations for using metformin monotherapy as initial treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes and selection of additional therapies based on patient-specific considerations.”