We compared risks of clinical outcomes, mortality and healthcare costs among new users of different classes of anti-diabetic medications. This is a population-based, retrospective, new-user design cohort study using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database between May 2, 2015 and September 30, 2017. An individual was assigned to a medication group based on the first anti-diabetic prescription on or after May 1, 2016: SGLT-2 inhibitors, DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 agonists or older agents (metformin, etc.). Clinical outcomes included lower extremity amputation, peripheral vascular disease, critical limb ischemia, osteomyelitis, and ulcer. We built three Cox proportional hazards models for clinical outcomes and mortality, and three regression models with a log-link function and gamma distribution for healthcare costs, all with propensity-score weighting and covariates. We identified 1,222,436 eligible individuals. After adjustment, new users of SGLT-2 inhibitors were associated with 73% lower mortality compared to those of DPP-4 inhibitors or users of older agents, while 36% lower total costs against those of GLP-1 agonists. However, there was no statistically significant difference in the risk of lower extremity amputation across medication groups. Our study suggested that SGLT-2 inhibitors is associated with lower mortality compared to DPP 4 inhibitors and lower costs compared to GLP-1 agonists.
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