Chronic Dis Transl Med 2019 Mar 15;5(1):25-36. Epub 2019 Mar 15.
Department of Endocrinology, Lankenau Hospital, Main Line Health System, Wynnewood, PA 19096, USA.
Treatment intended to lower cardiovascular (CV) risk in patients with diabetes has always been a primary goal of diabetes treatment. Due to the subdued effects of reducing hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) on macrovascular complications, controlling other CV risk factors such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia instead of hyperglycemia has been the mainstay treatment to improve CV outcome in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) until recent years. This review is intended to summarize and compare the results from the available cardiovascular outcome trials (CVOTs) for the two classes of glucose lowering drug: sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor (SGLT2i) and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA). The results including the EMPA-REG, CANVAS program and DECLARE-TIMI 58 trials for SGLT2i, and the ELIXA, LEADER, SUSTAIN-6, EXSCEL and HARMONY trials for GLP-1 RA were summarized. The potential mechanisms of these CV beneficial effects and the optimal CV risk reduction treatment in patients with T2DM based on patient risk stratification and evidence from these CVOTs in real-world setting were discussed.