It is estimated that in the past two decades the number of patients diagnosed with diabetes mellites (DM) has doubled. Despite significant progress in the treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including novel anti-platelet agents, effective lipid-lowering medications, and advanced revascularization techniques, patients with DM still are least twice as likely to die of cardiovascular causes compared with their non-diabetic counterparts, and current guidelines define patients with DM at the highest risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). Over the last few years, there has been a breakthrough in anti-diabetic therapeutics, as two novel anti-diabetic classes have demonstrated cardiovascular benefit with consistently reduced MACE, and for some agents, also improvement in heart failure status as well as reduced cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. These include the sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors and the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists. The benefits of these medications are thought to be derived not only from their anti-diabetic effect but also from additional mechanisms. The purpose of this review is to provide the everyday clinician a detailed review of the various agents within each class with regard to their specific characteristics and the effects on MACE and cardiovascular outcomes.
- diabetes mellitus
- heart failure