HealthCore study is the first to report a direct comparison of two
new medication classes on risk of heart failure hospitalization
INDIANAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Seniors with type 2 diabetes or those with diabetic complications were
less likely to be hospitalized for heart failure while taking a
sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor compared to dipeptidyl
peptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitors, another new class of oral antidiabetic
drug, according to a study released in Cardiovascular
Diabetology and conducted by Anthem, Inc. and HealthCore.
The study is the first to report a direct comparison of SGLT2 and DPP4
inhibitors on the risk of heart failure hospitalization. People with
type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of serious health complications,
and the risk of heart failure alone is four- to fivefold higher among
patients with diabetes than those without the condition. Patients with
diabetes also face a higher risk of recurrent heart failure, compared
with people without diabetes. Food and Drug Administration guidelines
recommend doctors evaluate patients for cardiovascular risk before
prescribing medication to manage diabetes.
SGLT2 inhibitors and DPP4 inhibitors are the latest addition to the type
2 diabetes treatment arsenal and are recommended as second-line
treatment after metformin. Both SGLT2 and DPP4 inhibitors have received
attention for their effect on cardiovascular outcomes, with clinical
trials finding a reduction in cardiovascular events, including heart
failure admissions with empaglifozin and canagliflozin – both SGLT2
inhibitors — compared to placebo. However, there has been very limited
information on how these findings compare to patients who use other
“This study provides further insight into the clinical benefits observed
in the real-world for individuals using certain classes of medications,
and the potential for reducing medical complications,” said Jeff White,
Anthem’s staff vice president of clinical pharmacy services. “Nearly two
in five Americans are expected to develop type 2 diabetes during their
lifetime1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, and our finding is intriguing in light of the overwhelming
interest around the reduction of heart failure risks associated with
SGLT2 inhibitors to treat patients with diabetes.”
The HealthCore study found that the heart failure hospitalization risk
is 32 percent lower for new users of SGLT2 compared to DPP4 medications.
In most patients younger than 65 or without history of diabetic
complications, there was no risk difference. The majority of the
analyzed patients were younger than 65, or didn’t have complications,
and there was no risk difference among those.
“Real world studies like this can support findings from clinical trials
and provide comparative effectiveness and safety of these medications
that have not been studied,” said John Barron, clinical pharmacy
scientist with HealthCore, the outcomes research subsidiary of Anthem.
“This information can help physicians and other healthcare professionals
make better informed decisions about choosing the most appropriate
medications for a given patient.”
The study analyzed medical and pharmaceutical data from October 2012 to
October 2016, including adults who filled a new prescription for SGLT2
or DPP4 medication classes between April 2013 and December 2014. After
matching to ensure the two cohorts were balanced for age, sex and other
clinical characteristics, there were 4,899 people in the SGLT2 cohort
and 9,798 in the DPP4 cohort. Both groups were followed for
approximately two years after beginning medication.
About HealthCore, Inc.
HealthCore, Inc. is the wholly-owned, independently operating health
outcomes research subsidiary of Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM). We work with
life sciences companies, payers and providers, and government and
academic organizations to provide real-world evidence in support of a
wide variety of health care decisions. Our research capabilities include
extensive experience in HEOR, Late Phase, Safety and Epidemiology and
Survey-Based research services and solutions with our work designed to
improve quality, safety and affordability in health care. With more than
20 years of experience, clinical and scientific research expertise, and
exclusive access to a robust, integrated research environment containing
information on nearly 60 million individuals from multiple health plans
across the U.S., HealthCore delivers unparalleled clarity and actionable
information to health care decision makers. To learn more about
HealthCore, go to www.healthcore.com.
About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem is working to transform health care with trusted and caring
solutions. Our health plan companies deliver quality products and
services that give their members access to the care they need. With over
74 million people served by its affiliated companies, including more
than 40 million within its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the
nation’s leading health benefits companies. For more information about
Anthem’s family of companies, please visit www.antheminc.com/companies.
1 Edward W. PhD; Zhuo, Xiaohui PhD; Cheng, Yjling
J PhD; Albright, Ann L.PhD; Narayan, Venkat MD; Thompson, Theodore MS;
(2014). Trends in Lifetime Risk and Years of Life Lost Due to Diabetes
in the USA, 1985-2011. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2
(11) 867-874. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70161-5