Cardiovascular outcomes, heart failure and mortality in type 2 diabetic patients treated with glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs): A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational cohort studies.Int J Clin Pract. 2020 May 25 [Online ahead of print]IJ
Cardiovascular outcomes trials (CVOTs) have assessed the effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) on major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and mortality in high cardiovascular (CV) risk populations. Observational research can provide complementary evidence about these effects in unselected populations.
To systematically review retrospective observational cohort studies conducted in electronic healthcare databases (EHDs) assessing GLP-1 RAs´ effects on MACE and/or hospitalisation for heart failure (HHF) and/or all-cause mortality in Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients.
We systematically searched studies meeting inclusion criteria, compared design, methods and population characteristics, assessed risk for bias and did a meta-analysis (MA) using a random-effects model to calculate overall hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CI (confidence intervals).
Sixteen studies included 285,436 T2DM patients exposed to GLP-1 RAs (exenatide bid, liraglutide, lixisenatide, long-acting exenatide), n ranged from 219 to 160,803 patients. Comparators included: no exposure, other antidiabetic medications (OADs), combined OADs, canagliflozin or multiple comparators. Ten studies estimated all-cause mortality, hazard ratios (HRs) ranged from 0.17 (95% CI 0.02-1.22) to 1.29 (95% CI 0.54-3.13). Thirteen studies assessed cardiovascular events and/or MACE; HRs ranged from 0.27 (95% CI 0.14-0.53) to 1.11 (95% CI 0.99-1.24). Eight studies assessed HHF, HRs ranged from 0.12 (95% CI 0.02-0.66) to 1.64 (95% CI 1.28-2.13). Excluding two studies because of temporal bias, we obtained pooled estimates for all-cause mortality: HR 0.63 (0.44-0.89), CV outcomes HR 0.84 (0.75-0.94) and HHF; HR 0.94 (0.78-1.14), (high between-study variability: I2 = 83.35%; I2 = 70.3%; and I2 = 90.1%, respectively).
Pooled results of EHDs' studies assessing GLP-1 RAs effects favoured GLP-1 RAs for all-cause mortality and MACE while were neutral for HHF. Results should be interpreted cautiously because of studies' substantial heterogeneity and limitations of observational research.