FRIDAY, Oct. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Use of glucose-regulating medications may improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a study published online Sept. 27 in Diabetes.

Jennifer E. Nyland, Ph.D., from Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, and colleagues used data from the TriNetX COVID-19 Research Network of 56 large health care organizations to assess the relationship between glucose-regulating medications and COVID-19 outcomes.

The researchers found that after matching for age, sex, race, ethnicity, body mass index, and significant comorbidities, use of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists and/or pioglitazone was associated with significant reductions in hospital admissions (GLP-1R: relative risk [RR], 0.67; pioglitazone: RR, 0.71). There was also an association between use of GLP-1R agonists and reductions in respiratory complications (RR, 0.62) and incidence of mortality (RR, 0.58). Similarly, there was an association observed between use of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and a reduction in respiratory complications (RR, 0.82). Continued use of DPP-4 inhibitors after hospitalization was associated with a decrease in mortality versus those who discontinued use (RR, 0.45).

“The scientific community continues to search for treatments that may complement vaccination by further reducing the risk of hospitalization, respiratory complications, and death from COVID-19 in at-risk patients with preexisting conditions like diabetes,” Nyland said in a statement.

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