Despite Sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors have been associated with a reduced risk of heart failure in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), the effect observed for other cardiovascular (CV) and cerebrovascular outcomes differed among clinical trials. Different observational studies have investigated the effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on these outcomes and mortality. The present meta-analysis aimed to assess the effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on the risk of CV (major adverse CV event – MACE, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or hospitalization for heart failure) and cerebrovascular (stroke) outcomes. A systematic review was conducted in Pubmed from January 1, 2012 to November 31, 2020. Only retrospective cohort studies including as control group users of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors or non-SGLT2 inhibitors were retained and analysed separately. A random effect meta-analysis approach was used. This study followed the PRISMA statement. Of the 158 references identified, 20 articles were selected for meta-analysis, of which 13 considered the comparison with DPP-4 inhibitors and 7 the comparison with non-SGLT2 inhibitors. The pooled intention-to-treat analysis showed a reduced risk of stroke with SGLT2 inhibitors compared to DPP-4 inhibitors (Hazard ratio HR, 0.89; 95%CI, 0.82-0.96; I = 25%; p = 0.25) and non-SGLT2 inhibitors (HR, 0.83; 95%CI, 0.77-0.91; I2 = 11%; p = 0.34). Finally, SGLT2 inhibitors were also associated with a reduced risk of CV outcomes and mortality in all comparisons. Our data support contemporary society recommendations to prioritize the use of SGLT2 inhibitors in patients with T2DM and at high risk for CV complications.
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