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Heart Risk Higher in Those Taking Sulfonylurea Drugs vs. Metformin

This retrospective study looking at data from an electronic health record database found that older patients with type 2 diabetes who started treatment with sulfonylurea (SU) drugs were significantly more likely to experience CVD than those who started with metformin….

Cardiovascular events occurred sooner after the beginning of treatment in those taking SUs than those on metformin as well. However, this study was observational and does not prove cause and effect. Other factors may have explained the difference. (Metformin cannot be prescribed in patients with worse kidney and heart function, for example.) This finding is important because SUs continue to be commonly prescribed among the elderly to lower blood glucose levels and CVD is the leading cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes.  

ADA Scientific Sessions (38-OR); June 25, 2011