AimDipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists are widely used in combinations with metformin in the treatment of type 2 diabetes; however, data on long-term safety compared with conventional combination therapies are limited. MethodsDanish individuals without prior myocardial infarction or stroke that initiated combinations of metformin with sulphonylurea (SU), DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 agonists or insulin between 9 May 2007 and 31 December 2011 were followed up for the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular (CV) mortality or a combined end point of myocardial infarction, stroke and CV mortality. Rate ratios (RR) were calculated using time-dependent multivariable Poisson regression analysis. ResultsA total of 40 028 patients (59% men, mean age 60 13 years) used metformin with SU (n = 25 092), DPP-4 inhibitor (n = 11 138), GLP-1 agonist (n = 4345) or insulin (n = 6858). Crude incidence rates per 1000 patient years for the combined end point were 18 (SU), 10 (DPP-4 inhibitor), 8 (GLP-1 agonist) and 21 (insulin). In adjusted analyses with metformin + SU as reference, metformin + DPP-4 inhibitor was associated with an RR of 0.65 (0.54-0.80) for mortality, an RR of 0.57 (0.40-0.80) for CV mortality and an RR of 0.70 (0.57-0.85) for the combined end point. For metformin + GLP-1 agonist, the RR for mortality was 0.77 (0.51-1.17), for CV mortality 0.89 (0.47-1.68), and for the combined end point 0.82 (0.55-1.21). Conclusion
Incretin-based drugs combined with metformin were safe compared with conventional combinations of glucose-lowering therapy. Use of incretin-based therapy may be target for strategies to lower CV risk in type 2 diabetes, although it should be recognized that the multivariable analysis may not have fully accounted for important baseline differences.