A new study conducted by a team of Canadian researchers reveals that some anti-diabetic agents, DPP-4 inhibitors, would expose patients to an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease.
The use of dipeptidyl-peptisad-4 inhibitors for type 2 diabetes has increased dramatically since their introduction almost a decade ago. However, a team of Canadian researchers is keen to alert physicians to the fact that their use is associated with an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease. Their results are published in the British Medical Journal of March 21, 2018.
Inhibitors of DPP-4 are generally prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes who do not respond well to other diabetes medications. Their mechanism of action is based on the blocking of the DPP-4 enzyme, which is involved in the inflammatory response and regulation of the secretion of intestinal hormones.
A Canadian team analyzed the records of 141,170 patients from the Clinical Practice Research database in the United Kingdom. Many factors have been taken into account: age, weight (BMI), smoking habits, alcohol-related disorders and complications of diabetes. The follow-up lasted on average three and a half years. During this period, 208 new inflammatory bowel disease were identified.
In practice, the use of DPP-4 inhibitors is associated with an increased risk of 75% inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, this association has gradually increased with longer periods of use, reaching a peak after 3 to 4 years but decreasing after more than 4 years of use.
The researchers point out, however, that their study is observational and that in no case can a conclusion be drawn about a possible cause-and-effect relationship.