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This article is the author's final published version in Diabetes & Metabolism Journal, Volume 47, 2023, Pg. 394 - 404.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 Korean Diabetes Association.


BACKGROUND: To compare risk of diabetic retinopathy (DR) between patients taking sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2is) and those taking glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP1-RAs) in routine care.

METHODS: This retrospective cohort study emulating a target trial included patient data from the multi-institutional Chang Gung Research Database in Taiwan. Totally, 33,021 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus using SGLT2is and GLP1-RAs between 2016 and 2019 were identified. 3,249 patients were excluded due to missing demographics, age <40 >years, prior use of any study drug, a diagnosis of retinal disorders, a history of receiving vitreoretinal procedure, no baseline glycosylated hemoglobin, or no follow-up data. Baseline characteristics were balanced using inverse probability of treatment weighting with propensity scores. DR diagnoses and vitreoretinal interventions served as the primary outcomes. Occurrence of proliferative DR and DR receiving vitreoretinal interventions were regarded as vision-threatening DR.

RESULTS: There were 21,491 SGLT2i and 1,887 GLP1-RA users included for the analysis. Patients receiving SGLT2is and GLP-1 RAs exhibited comparable rate of any DR (subdistribution hazard ratio [SHR], 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79 to 1.03), whereas the rate of proliferative DR (SHR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.68) was significantly lower in the SGLT2i group. Also, SGLT2i users showed significantly reduced risk of composite surgical outcome (SHR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.70).

CONCLUSION: Compared to those taking GLP1-RAs, patients receiving SGLT2is had a lower risk of proliferative DR and vitreoretinal interventions, although the rate of any DR was comparable between the SGLT2i and GLP1-RA groups. Thus, SGLT2is may be associated with a lower risk of vision-threatening DR but not DR development.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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