Diabetes medications and cardiovascular disease: at long last progress

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Purpose of review

Although intensive control of hyperglycemia has been proven to decrease the risk of microvascular complications in type 2 diabetes, it has had little apparent effect on reducing cardiovascular complications – the leading cause of mortality in this disease. We review the cardiovascular effects of various glucose-lowering medications, with a particular focus on the recent studies demonstrating clear benefits from members of several drug categories.

Recent findings

Recently, several randomized controlled studies have revealed significant improvements in cardiovascular outcomes from a thiazolidinedione, two sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors and two glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists.


These data suggest that certain glucose lowering agents after metformin should be favored in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients when there is underlying cardiovascular disease.

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