Treatment persistence, hypoglycaemia and clinical outcomes in type 2 diabetes patients with dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and sulphonylureas: a primary care database analysis

W Rathmann, K Kostev, J B Gruenberger, M Dworak, G Bader, G Giani
Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism 2013, 15 (1): 55-61

AIMS: To investigate therapy persistence, frequency of hypoglycaemia and macrovascular outcomes among type 2 diabetes patients with dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors (DPP-4) and sulphonylureas (SU).

METHODS: Data from 19,184 DPP-4 (mean age: 64 years; 56% males) and 31,110 SU users (69 years; 51%) with new prescriptions (index date), without additional antidiabetics except metformin, in 1201 general practises in Germany were analysed. Therapy discontinuation (prescription gap >90 days), hypoglycaemia [International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10)] and macrovascular outcomes (ICD-10) (2-year follow-up) were compared adjusting for age, sex, diabetes duration, metformin, previous hypoglycaemia, health insurance, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, antihypertensives, lipid-lowering and antithrombotic drugs, microvascular complications and Charlson co-morbidity score using logistic or Cox regression models.

RESULTS: Two years after index date, DDP-4 (non-persistence: 39%) were associated with a lower risk of discontinuation compared to SU (49%) [adjusted hazard ratio (HR): 0.74; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.71-0.76]. Hypoglycaemias (≥1) were documented in 0.18% patients with DPP-4 and in 1.00% with SU [odds ratio (OR): 0.21; 95%CI: 0.08-0.57]. Hypoglycaemias were significantly associated with incident macrovascular complications (HR: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.1-2.2). Risk of macrovascular events was 26% lower in DPP-4 than in SU users.

CONCLUSIONS: Lack of persistence with antidiabetic therapy is frequently found in primary care patients. DPP-4 was associated with lower therapy discontinuation and a fivefold reduced frequency of patients with hypoglycaemia compared to SU. The low absolute numbers of hypoglycaemias are most likely due to the fact that only severe events were documented. DPP-4 treatment was associated with reduced incidence of macrovascular events relative to SU in type 2 diabetes patients in primary care practises.

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