DPP-4 Inhibitors Not Tied to Increased Risk for Acute Pancreatitis in Seniors

A man taking medication
A man taking medication
Study provides evidence that DPP-4 inhibitors are not associated with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis in older adults overall. The positive association observed in patients with CVD could be due to chance or bias but merits further investigation.

HealthDay News — For older adults, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors (DPP-4Is) are not associated with increased risk of acute pancreatitis, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Jin-Liern Hong, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues examined the risks of acute pancreatitis among U.S. Medicare beneficiaries, aged 66+ years, initiating DDP-4Is versus thiazolidinediones or sulfonylureas. Participants had no history of pancreatic disease or alcohol-related diseases.

The researchers found that the risk of acute pancreatitis was not increased comparing 49,374 DPP-4I initiators with 132,223 sulfonylurea initiators (weighted hazard ratio, 1.01; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.83 to 1.24) and comparing 57,301 DPP-4I initiators with 32,612 thiazolidinedione initiators (weighted hazard ratio, 1.11; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.76 to 1.62).

The association was not modified by age and sex. Acute pancreatitis incidence was increased for DDP-4I and sulfonylurea initiators but not for thiazolidinedione initiators (2.3 and 2.4 versus 1.5 per 1,000 person-years, respectively), among patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The risk of acute pancreatitis was increased among patients with CVD taking DPP-4Is versus thiazolidinediones (weighted hazard ratio, 1.84; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 3.35), but not compared to sulfonylureas.

“Our study provides evidence that DPP-4I is not associated with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis in older adults overall,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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