A new antidiabetic drug may reduce the risk of respiratory and renal conditions, including end-stage renal disease and pneumonia. The corresponding study was published in Diabetes and Endocrinology.
Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2I's) are a new class of blood sugar-lowering medications for patients with type 2 diabetes. Some clinical trials have shown that besides glycemic control, SGLT2Is may benefit cardiovascular and renal protection in patients with type 2 diabetes.
However, how this new class of drugs compares to older classes of glucose-lowering drugs- such as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP4I's)- remains unknown. In the current study, researchers set out to compare SGLT2I’s and DPP4I’s effects on renal and respiratory outcomes. To do so, they analyzed electronic health data from 30, 385 patients in Hong Kong with type 2 diabetes taking either drug. Patients were followed for an average of 2.2 years.
After analyzing the data, they found that when compared to DPP4is, SGLT2Is were linked to an 81% lower risk of end-stage renal disease, a 70% lower risk of acute renal failure, and a 50% reduced risk of albuminuria- a kidney disease in which protein albumin is found excessively in the urine. The researchers also found that SGLT2I was linked to a 35% reduced risk of obstructive airway disease and a 41% lower risk of pneumonia.
‘Due to the observational nature of the studies, further dedicated clinical trials and pooled analyses of studies from different populations and subgroups should be conducted so to give a bias-free conclusion. All in all, SGLT2i could potentially be a better alternative drug to DPP4i and be used as an extra-glycaemic drug,” Dr Cheung Ching-lung, Associate Professor at the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy at the University of Hong Kong, one of the authors of the study, said in a press release.