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Antihyperglycemic Medications and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

European Endocrinology, 2017;13(2):86–90 DOI:


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a leading cause of death in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). In addition to glycemic control, a major focus of diabetes treatment involves cardiovascular (CV) risk reduction. In 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) instituted a new requirement that new drugs developed and studied for the treatment of T2D must undergo CV safety testing. Since the advent of this new policy, canagliflozin, empagliflozin, liraglutide and semaglutide have demonstrated superior CV event reduction – via a composite of reduction in CV death, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), and nonfatal stroke – compared with placebo in patients with T2D and existing CVD, or at high risk of CVD. Multiple studies are underway to evaluate the CV outcomes of other antihyperglycemic agents. In a time when there are numerous drugs in the T2D armamentarium, positive CV outcomes data influence drug selection and aids practitioners in making more individualised therapeutic recommendations for their patients.


Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, antihyperglycemic, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1) receptor agonists, sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors


Sarah L Anderson and Joel C Marrs have nothing to declare in relation to this article. No funding was received in the publication of this article. This study involves a review of the literature and did not involve any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Open Access

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, adaptation and reproduction provided the original author(s) and source are given appropriate credit.



Published Online

July 13, 2017


Sarah L Anderson; Mail Stop C238, 12850 E. Montview Blvd., room V20-2129, Aurora, Colorado, 80045, US. E:

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