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Oral Diabetes Medications for Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: An Update [Internet]

Oral Diabetes Medications for Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: An Update [Internet]

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US)

Version: March 2011


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) requested an update to Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 8, Comparative Effectiveness and Safety of Oral Diabetes Medications For Adults with Type 2 Diabetes. In addition, AHRQ requested that the scope be broadened to include a review of the comparative effectiveness and safety of combinations of medications for diabetes treatment. Our Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) established a team and a work plan to develop the evidence report. The project involved recruiting technical experts, formulating and refining the questions, performing a comprehensive literature search, summarizing the state of the literature, constructing evidence tables, synthesizing the evidence, and submitting the report for peer review.


A summary of the search results is presented in Figure 2. From the search, we retrieved 20,748 unique citations. After a review of the titles and abstracts, 1,027 were deemed eligible for further review, and the full articles were retrieved. A total of 166 articles were included in this review.


Type 2 diabetes is a common chronic illness, with an increasing prevalence that parallels the rise in obesity rates. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, which is worsened by obesity and physical inactivity. Over time, the pancreatic beta cells lose their ability to maintain the high insulin levels needed to counter liver and muscle insulin resistance and beta cell failure occurs. The natural history of type 2 diabetes has been described in several populations.

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