Lack of evidence for a harmful effect of sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors on fracture risk among type 2 diabetes patients: a network and cumulative meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

H L Tang, D D Li, J J Zhang, Y H Hsu, T S Wang, S D Zhai, Y Q Song
Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism 2016, 18 (12): 1199-1206

AIM: To evaluate the comparative effects of sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors on risk of bone fracture in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, CENTRAL and were systematically searched from inception to 27 January 2016 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting the outcome of fracture in patients with T2DM treated with SGLT2 inhibitors. Pairwise and network meta-analyses, as well as a cumulative meta-analysis, were performed to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: A total of 38 eligible RCTs (10 canagliflozin, 15 dapagliflozin and 13 empagliflozin) involving 30 384 patients, with follow-ups ranging from 24 to 160 weeks, were included. The fracture event rates were 1.59% in the SGLT2 inhibitor groups and 1.56% in the control groups. The incidence of fracture events was similar among these three SGLT2 inhibitor groups. Compared with placebo, canagliflozin (OR 1.15; 95% CI 0.71-1.88), dapagliflozin (OR 0.68; 95% CI 0.37-1.25) and empagliflozin (OR 0.93; 95% CI 0.74-1.18) were not significantly associated with an increased risk of fracture. Our cumulative meta-analysis indicated the robustness of the null findings with regard to SGLT2 inhibitors.

CONCLUSIONS: Our meta-analysis based on available RCT data does not support the harmful effect of SGLT2 inhibitors on fractures, although future safety monitoring from RCTs and real-world data with detailed information on bone health is warranted.

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