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Antihypertensive therapy and incidence of type 2 diabetes in an elderly cohort


Objective — The aim of this study was to determine whether the incidence of type 2 diabetes differed among elderly users of four major antihypertensive drug classes.

Research Design and Methods — This was a retrospective, observational cohort study of previously untreated elderly patients (aged > or = 66 years) identified as new users of an antihypertensive drug class between April 1995 and March 2000. Using a Cox proportional hazards model, the primary analysis compared diabetes incidence in users of ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers (CCBs), with thiazide diuretics allowed as second-line therapy. In the secondary analysis, thiazide diuretics were added as a fourth study group.

Results — In the multivariable-adjusted primary analysis (n = 76,176), neither ACE inhibitor use (hazard ratio 0.96 [95% CI 0.84-1.1]) nor beta-blocker use (0.86 [0.74-1.0]) was associated with a statistically significant difference in type 2 diabetes incidence compared with the CCB control group. In the secondary analysis (n = 100,653), compared with CCB users, type 2 diabetes incidence was not significantly different between users of ACE inhibitors (0.97 [0.83-1.1]), beta-blockers (0.84 [0.7-1.0]), or thiazide diuretics (1.0 [0.89-1.2]).

Conclusions — Type 2 diabetes incidence did not significantly differ among users of the major antihypertensive drug classes in this elderly, population-based administrative cohort. These results do not support the theory that different antihypertensive drug classes are relatively more or less likely to cause diabetes.



Padwal R, Mamdani M, Alter DA, Hux JE, Rothwell DM, Tu K, Laupacis A. Diabetes Care. 2004; 27(10):2458-63.

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