MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For adults with type 2 diabetes and asthma, exacerbation rates are lower for those prescribed glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In a retrospective cohort study conducted at an academic health care system from January 2000 to March 2018, Dinah Foer, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues compared rates of asthma exacerbations and symptoms between adults with type 2 diabetes and asthma prescribed GLP-1R agonists and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, sulfonylureas, or basal insulin for diabetes treatment intensification. Data were included for patients initiating GLP-1R agonists (448), SGLT-2 inhibitors (112), DPP-4 inhibitors (435), sulfonylureas (2,253), or basal insulin (2,692).

The researchers found that asthma exacerbation counts were lower in those initiating GLP-1R agonists compared with SGLT-2 inhibitors, DPP-4 inhibitors, sulfonylureas, and basal insulin at six months (incidence rate ratios, 2.98, 2.45, 1.83, and 2.58, respectively). GLP-1R agonist users had fewer health care encounters for asthma symptoms.

“We have demonstrated really for the first time that this class of medications used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity may also have benefit for our patients who have asthma,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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