Glyburide may be associated with a reduced risk of sudden cardiac arrest and ventricular arrhythmia (SCA/VA) when compared with glipizide. Findings from this retrospective cohort study were published in the journal Diabetes Care.
Using US Medicaid claims (1999–2010) from 5 states, the researchers sought to examine the association between individual sulfonylureas (glyburide, glimepiride, glipizide) and outpatient-originating SCA/VA; glipizide was considered the reference exposure.
The study included 519,272 patients who used sulfonylureas. Of the total 176,889 person-years of sulfonylurea exposure, 632 SCA/VA events occurred (crude incidence rate 3.6 per 1,000 person-years). Half of these events resulted in immediate death.
Compared with glipizide, the propensity-score adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for SCA/VA were 0.82 (95% CI: 0.69–0.98) for glyburide and 1.10 (95% CI: 0.89–1.36) for glimepiride. Moreover, secondary analyses demonstrated a similar effect estimate for glyburide although not all confidence intervals excluded the null.
Based on these findings, the authors conclude that glyburide may carry a lower risk of SCA/VA incidence compared with glipizide. “This potential benefit must be contextualized by considering putative effects of different sulfonylureas on other cardiovascular end points, cerebrovascular end points, all-cause death, and hypoglycemia.”
Leonard CE, Brensinger CM, Aquilante CL, et al. Comparative safety of sulfonylureas and the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and ventricular arrhythmia [published online February 2, 2018]. Diabetes Care. doi: 10.2337/dc17-0294
This article originally appeared on MPR