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The impact of diabetes drugs on our mortality is minimal
A recent study was now examining the effects of eight different classes of diabetes medication on the heart, circulation and all-cause mortality. The researchers found that there was no significant difference in mortality when patients took these drugs instead of a placebo.
Do Diabetes Medicines Improve Life Expectancy in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes? Scientists from the University of Otago have now found in an investigation that there are no significant differences in mortality when people take one of eight different classes of anti-diabetes medication. The doctors published the results of their study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Researchers analyze the data from 300 different studies
The researchers looked at the results of 300 trials in subjects with type 2 diabetes to determine whether it made a difference in life expectancy when patients took different diabetes medications. Some subjects were given placebo for comparison. The experts could not find any really significant differences.
Investigations included approximately 120,000 subjectsn
Of all classes examined, sodium glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) drugs were associated with the lowest rate of hypoglycemia when combined with metformin, explains lead author Dr. Suetonia Palmer from the University of Otago in New Zealand. A central finding of this meta-analysis was that despite more than 300 clinical studies with almost 120,000 subjects, there was only limited evidence of an extension of life expectancy due to sugar-lowering drugs.
Four classes of medication were associated with higher HbA1c levels compared to metformin
In addition, all drugs with sulfonylurea and basal insulin were associated with the highest risk of hypoglycemia.
The majority of all examinations were carried out as monotherapy
The majority of all drug tests (177) were carried out as monotherapy, the scientists say. In 109 of the studies, the drugs were administered in addition to metformin. The authors added that 29 drugs were used in combination with metformin and sulfonylurea.
Patients with type 2 diabetes should initially receive metformin monotherapy
There was no evidence of a distinction in the association between the different classes of active substances and undesirable serious events, such as myocardial infarction or stroke, says Dr. Palmer. The results of the investigation showed that for initial treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes, metformin monotherapy should be recommended, the authors write. Based on the latest research, doctors and patients should avoid using sulfonylureas and basal insulin to treat patients who want to minimize the risk of hypoglycaemia.
Further research in this area is urgently needed
There were also two recent studies that linked two diabetes medications to lower mortality. But none of these treatments has been studied as monotherapy, the authors explain. Relatively few studies report cardiovascular mortality. Most of these studies show no relevant or only very unclear results. The majority of the studies conducted were relatively short-term and were carried out in higher income countries. (as)