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Diabetes Metab J. 2015 Oct;39(5):373-83. doi: 10.4093/dmj.2015.39.5.373. Epub 2015 Oct 22.

Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 Inhibitors and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Tale of Three Studies.

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Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Bucheon St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon, Korea.


Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors have been touted as promising antihyperglycemic agents due to their beneficial effects on glycemia without inducing hypoglycemia or body weight gain and their good tolerability. Beyond their glucose-lowering effects, numerous clinical trials and experimental studies have suggested that DPP4 inhibitors may exert cardioprotective effects through their pleiotropic actions via glucagon-like peptide 1-dependent mechanisms or involving other substrates. Since 2008, regulatory agencies have required an assessment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) safety for the approval of all new anti-hyperglycemic agents, including incretin-based therapies. Three large prospective DPP4 inhibitor trials with cardiovascular (CV) outcomes have recently been published. According to the Saxagliptin Assessment of Vascular Outcomes Recorded in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus (SAVOR-TIMI 53) and EXamination of cArdiovascular outcoMes with alogliptIN versus standard of carE in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and acute coronary syndrome (EXAMINE) trials, DPP4 inhibitors, including saxagliptin and alogliptin, did not appear to increase the risk of CV events in patients with type 2 diabetes and established CVD or high risk factors. Unexpectedly, saxagliptin significantly increased the risk of hospitalization for heart failure by 27%, a finding that has not been explained and that requires further exploration. More recently, the Trial Evaluating Cardiovascular Outcomes with Sitagliptin (TECOS) trial demonstrated the CV safety of sitagliptin, including assessments of the primary composite CV endpoint and hospitalization for heart failure in patients with type 2 diabetes and established CVD. The CV outcomes of an ongoing linagliptin trial are expected to provide new evidence about the CV effects of a DPP4-inhibitor in patients with type 2 diabetes.


Cardiovascular diseases; Diabetes mellitus, type 2; Dipeptidyl peptidase 4

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