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Sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors and the risk of below-knee amputation: a multicenter observational study


Objective — Reports of amputations associated with sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors have been inconsistent. We aimed to compare the risk of below-knee amputation with SGLT2 inhibitors versus dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors among patients with type 2 diabetes.

Research Design and Methods — This multicenter observational study used administrative healthcare databases from seven Canadian provinces and the U.K. Incident SGLT2 inhibitor users were matched to DPP-4 inhibitor users using a prevalent new-user design and time-conditional propensity scores. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate site-specific adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and corresponding 95% CIs of incident below-knee amputation for SGLT2 inhibitor versus DPP-4 inhibitor users. Random effects meta-analyses were used to pool the site-specific results.

Results — The study cohort included 207,817 incident SGLT2 inhibitor users matched to 207,817 DPP-4 inhibitor users. During a mean exposed follow-up time of 11 months, the amputation rate was 1.3 per 1,000 person-years among SGLT2 inhibitor users and 1.5 per 1,000 person-years among DPP-4 inhibitor users. The adjusted HR of below-knee amputations associated with SGLT2 inhibitor use compared with DPP-4 inhibitor use was 0.88 (95% CI 0.71–1.09). Similar results were obtained in stratified analyses by specific SGLT2 inhibitor molecule.

Conclusions — In this large multicenter observational study, there was no association between SGLT2 inhibitor use and incident below-knee amputations among patients with type 2 diabetes compared with DPP-4 inhibitor use. While these findings provide some reassurance, studies with a longer duration of follow-up are needed to assess potential long-term effects.



Yu OHY, Dell’Aniello S, Shah BR, Brunetti VC, Daigle J, Fralick M, Douros A, Hu N, Alessi-Severini S, Fisher A, Bugden SC, Ronksley PE, Filion KB, Ernst P, Lix LM; Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies (CNODES) Investigators. Diabetes Care. 2020; 43(10):2444-52. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

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