Diabetology Xagena

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Use of incretins does not seem to be associated with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis

Previous studies have yielded conflicting results about the association between incretin therapies and acute pancreatitis. Researchers have compared the occurrence of acute pancreatitis in a population of patients with type 2 diabetes who received incretins compared with those who received other antidiabetic treatment.

In the population-based matched case-control study, researchers have extracted information from an administrative database from Piedmont, Italy ( containing data for 4.4 million inhabitants ).

From a dataset of 282429 patients receiving treatment with antidiabetic drugs for type 2 diabetes, they identified 1003 cases older than 41 years who had been admitted to hospital for acute pancreatitis in the period 2008-2012, and 4012 controls who were matched for sex, age, and time of start of antidiabetic therapy.

Researchers have compared incretin exposure in cases and controls with a conditional logistic regression model, expressed as odds ratios ( ORs ).

All analyses were adjusted for risk factors of acute pancreatitis, as ascertained by hospital discharge records, and concomitant use of Metformin or Glibenclamide.

The mean age of cases and controls ( 72.2 years ) was high, as expected in an unselected diabetic population in Europe.

After adjustment for available confounders, use of incretins in the 6 months before hospital admission was not associated with increased risk of acute pancreatitis ( OR=0.98; p=0.8958 ).

The findings suggest that, in an unselected population, use of incretins is not associated with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis.
Larger studies are needed to clarify whether age or type of incretin therapy could affect the risk of acute pancreatitis in patients with type 2 diabetes. ( Xagena )

Giorda CB et al, The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology 2014; 2: 111-115