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Antidiabetic drugs and stroke risk. Current evidence

Published:September 20, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2017.09.019

      Highlights

      • Diabetes may be responsible for >8% of first ischemic strokes.
      • Until recently, no antidiabetic drug has been proven to reduce stroke risk.
      • Moreover, several antidiabetics (i.e., sulfonylureas) increased the risk of stroke.
      • Currently, metformin, pioglitazone and semaglutide have shown to reduce this risk.
      • Further studies will help to select the best treatment for decreasing stroke risk.

      Abstract

      Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of morbidity and mortality for individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D). In particular, the risk for stroke is twice that of patients without diabetes, and diabetes may be responsible for >8% of first ischemic strokes. Therefore, the way to prevent stroke in these patients has become an important issue.
      Traditionally, glucose-lowering drugs had not been shown to protect against stroke. Moreover, several antidiabetic drugs (i.e., sulfonylureas, rosiglitazone) have been reported to be associated with increased risks of CVD and stroke. On the contrary, data on the CV risks and benefits associated with new antidiabetic treatment in patients with T2D are emerging - and look promising. Therefore, it could be of great value to find out if any type of these new antidiabetic agents has protective effect against stroke.
      We review the available evidence regarding the risk of stroke in individuals taking non-insulin antidiabetic agents.
      To date, several antidiabetic agents have shown to have a positive effect on stroke prevention. The accumulated evidence suggests that metformin, pioglitazone and semaglutide reduce stroke risk. These agents do not represent only a way of controlling blood glucose and but also offer the opportunity to reduce stroke risk.
      Surely, new data from ongoing and future studies will provide additional information to select the best treatment for decreasing stroke risk in T2D patients.

      Keywords

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