Risk of hypoglycaemia in people aged ≥65 years receiving linagliptin: pooled data from 1489 individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Int J Clin Pract. 2018 Oct;72(10):e13240. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.13240.


Aims: To investigate the risk of hypoglycaemia in people aged ≥65 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) treated with linagliptin, in the largest pooled analysis performed to date.

Materials and methods: One thousand four hundred and eighty-nine patients aged ≥65 years with T2DM were pooled from 11 randomised, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled trials evaluating linagliptin 5 mg alone, or in addition to various background therapies. The primary safety endpoint was the incidence of investigator-defined hypoglycaemia.

Results: There was no significant difference in the risk of hypoglycaemia between linagliptin and placebo in the all-patient population at 24 weeks (hazard ratio [HR] 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.84, 1.36; P = 0.5943)-despite significant (P < 0.0001) improvements in glycaemic control-and 1 year (HR 1.02; 95% CI: 0.81, 1.27; P = 0.8803). Similar findings were observed for linagliptin vs placebo in subgroup analyses by background medication (eg, sulphonylureas (SUs) and/or insulin vs no such drugs), age, baseline glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), ethnicity, and baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate. Patients with a baseline HbA1c ≥7.5% had significantly higher odds of achieving HbA1c <7.5% without hypoglycaemia in the linagliptin group compared with placebo at 24 weeks (34.1% vs 13.7%; 95% CI: 2.04, 4.12; P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: This pooled analysis indicates that linagliptin was effective in treating older people with T2DM towards their HbA1c targets with a favourable safety and tolerability profile and low risk of hypoglycaemia. The safety profile was maintained even on background therapies with known risk of hypoglycaemia, such as insulin and SU.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / blood
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced*
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Incidence
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Linagliptin / adverse effects*
  • Linagliptin / therapeutic use
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds / therapeutic use


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds
  • Linagliptin