(HealthDay News) — Use of glucose-regulating medications may improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a study published online in Diabetes.

Jennifer E. Nyland, PhD, from Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, and colleagues used data from the TriNetX COVID-19 Research Network of 56 large health care organizations to assess the relationship between glucose-regulating medications and COVID-19 outcomes.

The researchers found that after matching for age, sex, race, ethnicity, body mass index, and significant comorbidities, use of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists and/or pioglitazone was associated with significant reductions in hospital admissions (GLP-1R: relative risk [RR], 0.67; pioglitazone: RR, 0.71). There was also an association between use of GLP-1R agonists and reductions in respiratory complications (RR, 0.62) and incidence of mortality (RR, 0.58). Similarly, there was an association observed between use of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and a reduction in respiratory complications (RR, 0.82). Continued use of DPP-4 inhibitors after hospitalization was associated with a decrease in mortality versus those who discontinued use (RR, 0.45).


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“The scientific community continues to search for treatments that may complement vaccination by further reducing the risk of hospitalization, respiratory complications, and death from COVID-19 in at-risk patients with preexisting conditions like diabetes,” Nyland said in a statement.

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