A comparison of glycaemic effects of sitagliptin and sulfonylureas in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

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Abstract

Introduction:

In the USA, 45% of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are elderly (≥ 65 years old). In general, use of sulfonylurea increases with patient age as does the associated risk for hypoglycaemia, and the consequences of hypoglycaemia can be more pronounced in elderly patients. Sitagliptin, a DPP-4 inhibitor, improves glycaemic control in adult patients of all ages with T2DM, with a low risk of hypoglycaemia when used alone or in combination with other antidiabetic agents that are not generally associated with hypoglycaemia when used independently.

Methods:

In a post hoc analysis, pooled data from elderly patients who participated in one of three double-blind studies comparing the effects of therapy with sitagliptin (100 mg/day) vs. sulfonylurea (in titrated doses) were analysed for changes from baseline in HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and body weight and for the incidence of reported symptomatic hypoglycaemia. In these studies, patients on diet alone or metformin were randomised to sitagliptin or glipizide for 104 weeks (studies 1 and 2) or glimepiride for 30 weeks (study 3). The analysis included 372 elderly patients who completed a trial through 25 or 30 weeks.

Results:

Both HbA1c and FPG decreased from baseline with each treatment, with no statistically significant differences between treatments. A significantly lower incidence of reported hypoglycaemia was observed with sitagliptin compared with sulfonylurea (6.2% vs. 27.8%; p < 0.001). Body weight decreased significantly with sitagliptin but not with sulfonylurea. Significantly more patients on sitagliptin than on sulfonylureas achieved a composite end-point of >0.5% HbA1c reduction with no reported hypoglycaemia or increase in body weight (44.1% vs. 16.0%; p < 0.001).

Conclusion:

In this analysis of elderly patients with T2DM, compared with sulfonylurea, sitagliptin provided similar glycaemic efficacy with less hypoglycaemia and with body weight loss.

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