Aims: patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) have high platelet reactivity and are at increased risk of ischaemic events and bleeding post-acute coronary syndromes (ACS). In the PLATelet inhibition and patient Outcomes (PLATO) trial, ticagrelor reduced the primary composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke, but with similar rates of major bleeding compared with clopidogrel. We aimed to investigate the outcome with ticagrelor vs. clopidogrel in patients with DM or poor glycaemic control.
Methods and results: we analysed patients with pre-existing DM (n = 4662), including 1036 patients on insulin, those without DM (n = 13 951), and subgroups based on admission levels of haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c; n = 15 150). In patients with DM, the reduction in the primary composite endpoint (HR: 0.88, 95% CI: 0.76-1.03), all-cause mortality (HR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.66-1.01), and stent thrombosis (HR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.36-1.17) with no increase in major bleeding (HR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.81-1.12) with ticagrelor was consistent with the overall cohort and without significant diabetes status-by-treatment interactions. There was no heterogeneity between patients with or without ongoing insulin treatment. ticagrelor reduced the primary endpoint, all-cause mortality, and stent thrombosis in patients with HbA1c above the median (HR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.70-0.91; HR: 0.78, 95% CI: 0.65-0.93; and HR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.39-1.00, respectively) with similar bleeding rates (HR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.86-1.12).
Conclusion: ticagrelor, when compared with clopidogrel, reduced ischaemic events in ACS patients irrespective of diabetic status and glycaemic control, without an increase in major bleeding events.