Sitagliptin and the risk of hospitalization for heart failure: a population-based study

Int J Cardiol. 2014 Nov 15;177(1):86-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2014.09.038. Epub 2014 Sep 28.


Background: Saxagliptin was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for heart failure (HHF) in diabetic patients with high cardiovascular risk. This study assessed the risk of HHF during an exposure to sitagliptin in general diabetic patients.

Methods: In Taiwan National Health Insurance research database, a study of the beneficiaries aged ≥ 45 years with diabetes treated with or without sitagliptin between March 2009 and July 2011 was conducted. Patients treated with sitagliptin were matched to patients never exposed to a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor by the propensity score methodology. The outcome measures were the first and the total number of HHF, and mortality for heart failure or all causes.

Results: A total of 8288 matched pairs of patients were analyzed. During a median of 1.5 years, the first event of HHF occurred in 339 patients with sitagliptin and 275 patients never exposed to a DPP-4 inhibitor (hazard ratio: 1.21, 95% confidence interval: 1.04-1.42, P = 0.017); all-cause mortality was similar (hazard ratio: 0.87, 95% confidence interval: 0.74-1.03, P = 0.109). The risk for HHF was proportional to exposure (hazard ratio: 1.09, 95% confidence interval: 1.06-1.11, P < 0.001 for every 10% increase in adherence to sitagliptin). Overall, there were 935 events of HHF, in which the association between the number of HHF and the adherence to sitagliptin was linear. The greatest total number of HHF occurred in the patients with the highest adherence.

Conclusions: The use of sitagliptin was associated with a higher risk of HHF but no excessive risk for mortality was observed.

Keywords: Heart failure; Outcome research; Sitagliptin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Hospitalization / trends*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Propensity Score
  • Pyrazines
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sitagliptin Phosphate
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Triazoles


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Pyrazines
  • Triazoles
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Sitagliptin Phosphate