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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2018 Sep 12. doi: 10.1111/dom.13531. [Epub ahead of print]

Comparative risk of genital infections associated with sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors.

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Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


The extent to which sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors increase the risk of genital infections in routine clinical care, compared with other antidiabetic medications, is not clear, or whether the increased risk is consistent across gender or age subgroups, within individual SGLT2 agents, or if it is more pronounced at a particular time after treatment initiation. We conducted a retrospective cohort study using two US commercial claims databases (2013-2017). In the primary analysis, 1:1 propensity score-matched cohorts of female and male subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus initiating SGLT2 versus dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors were created. The outcome was a composite of genital candidal infections, vaginitis or vulvovaginitis in women, and genital candidal infections, balanitis, balanoposthitis, phimosis or paraphimosis in men. Among propensity score-matched cohorts of 129 994 women and 156 074 men, the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) and excess risk per 1000 person-years for SGLT2 versus DPP-4 inhibitors was 2.81 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.64, 2.99) and 87.4 (95% CI, 79.1, 96.2) respectively for women, and was 2.68 (95% CI, 2.31, 3.11) and 11.9 (95% CI, 9.3-15.0) for men. Findings were similar in the SGLT2 inhibitor versus GLP-1 agonist comparison, more pronounced in the subgroup of patients aged ≥60 (HR, 4.45 [95% CI, 3.83-5.17] in women and 3.30 [95% CI, 2.56-4.25] in men), and no meaningful difference across individual SGLT2 inhibitors was identified. This increase in risk was evident in the first month of treatment initiation and remained elevated throughout the course of therapy. SGLT2 inhibitors were associated with an approximately 3-fold increase in risk of genital infections.


SGLT2 inhibitor; antidiabetic drug; pharmacoepidemiology; type 2 diabetes


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