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Diabetes Technol Ther. 2012 Oct;14(10):904-11. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Exenatide therapy and the risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in a privately insured population.

Author information

1
Leonard D Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Postmarketing reports have linked exenatide use with acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, but a definitive relationship has yet to be established.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of patients with type 2 diabetes with employer-provided health insurance from 2007 to 2009. Multivariate models estimated the association between exenatide use and acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. We required at least 1 year of exenatide exposure in the pancreatic cancer analysis. Sensitivity analyses were conducted that quasirandomized exenatide use based on patient out-of-pocket costs.

RESULTS:

Among 268,561 patients included in the acute pancreatitis analysis, only 2.6% used exenatide. Hospitalization for acute pancreatitis was rare (0.247% of patients). In unadjusted and adjusted analyses, patients who did not use exenatide were more likely to be hospitalized for acute pancreatitis (0.249% vs. 0.196% in unadjusted analysis), but the difference was not statistically significant in either analysis (P = 0.22 and P = 0.70, respectively). Among 209,306 patients in the pancreatic cancer analysis, 0.070% were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and 0.88% had at least 1 year of continuous exenatide exposure prior to the diagnosis. Those with exenatide exposure had higher rates of pancreatic cancer compared with those without (0.081% vs. 0.070% in unadjusted analysis). In both unadjusted and adjusted analyses, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.80 and P = 0.46, respectively). In sensitivity analyses, results were similar.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found no association between exenatide use and either hospitalization for acute pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer in a large sample of privately insured U.S. patients.

PMID:
22845701
PMCID:
PMC3513976
DOI:
10.1089/dia.2012.0075
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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