(HealthDay News) — Use of saxagliptin or sitagliptin is not associated with increased risk for hospitalized heart failure (HF) compared with other antihyperglycemic agents, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Sengwee Toh, ScD, from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlations of hospitalized HF with the diabetes drugs saxagliptin and sitagliptin in a retrospective new-user cohort study. Data were included for 18 health insurance and health system data partners in the Food and Drug Administration’s Mini-Sentinel program (78 553 saxagliptin users and 298, 24 sitagliptin users).

The researchers found that the risk for hospitalized HF was not higher for dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors vs other drugs. From the disease risk score (DRS)-stratified analyses, the hazard ratios (HRs) were 0.83, 0.63, 0.69, and 0.61 for saxagliptin vs sitagliptin, pioglitazone, sulfonylureas, and insulin, respectively. In the DRS-stratified analyses, the HRs were 0.74, 0.86, and 0.71 for sitagliptin vs pioglitazone, sulfonylureas, and insulin, respectively. 

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Similar results were seen from the 1:1 propensity score-matched analyses, in subgroup analyses of patients with and without prior cardiovascular disease, and in a subgroup defined by the 2 highest DRS deciles.

“In this large cohort study, a higher risk for hospitalized HF was not observed in users of saxagliptin or sitagliptin compared with other selected antihyperglycemic agents,” the researchers wrote.

One author disclosed financial ties to Novartis Pharmaceuticals.


  1. Toh S, Hampp C, Reichman ME, et al. Risk for Hospitalized Heart Failure Among New Users of Saxagliptin, Sitagliptin, and Other Antihyperglycemic Drugs: A Retrospective Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med. 2016. doi:10.7326/M15-2568.