Use of sodium–glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors and risk of acute kidney injury in older adults with diabetes: a population-based cohort study Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Regulatory agencies warn about the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) after the initiation of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. Our objective was to quantify the 90-day risk of AKI in older adults after initiation of SGLT2 inhibitors in routine clinical practice. METHODS: We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study in Ontario, Canada, involving adults with diabetes who were aged 66 years or older and who were newly dispensed either an SGLT2 inhibitor or a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitor in an outpatient setting between 2015 and 2017. We used inverse probability of treatment weighting based on a propensity score to balance the 2 groups on measured baseline characteristics. The primary outcome was 90-day risk of a hospital encounter (i.e., visit to the emergency department or admission to hospital) with AKI, which we defined by a 50% or greater increase in the concentration of serum creatinine from the baseline value or an absolute increase of at least 27 μmol/L after an SGLT2 or DDP4 inhibitor was dispensed. We obtained weighted risk ratios using modified Poisson regression and weighted risk differences using binomial regression. RESULTS: We included 39 094 patients with a median age of 70 (interquartile range 68-74) years in the study. Relative to new use of a DPP4 inhibitor, initiation of a SGLT2 inhibitor was associated with a lower 90-day risk of a hospital encounter with AKI: 216 events in 19 611 patients (1.10%) versus 388 events in 19 483 patients (1.99%); weighted risk ratio 0.79 (95% confidence interval 0.64-0.98). INTERPRETATION: In routine care of older adults, new use of SGLT2 inhibitors compared with use of DPP4 inhibitors was associated with a lower risk of AKI. Together with previous evidence, our findings suggest that regulatory warnings about AKI risk with SGLT2 inhibitors are unwarranted.


  • Iskander, Carina
  • Cherney, David Z
  • Clemens, Kristin K
  • Dixon, Stephanie N
  • Harel, Ziv
  • Jeyakumar, Nivethika
  • McArthur, Eric
  • Muanda, Flory Tsobo
  • Parikh, Chirag R
  • Paterson, J Michael
  • Tangri, Navdeep
  • Udell, Jacob A
  • Wald, Ron
  • Garg, Amit

publication date

  • April 6, 2020

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