Prevention of atherothrombotic events in patients with diabetes mellitus: from antithrombotic therapies to new-generation glucose-lowering drugs

Nat Rev Cardiol. 2019 Feb;16(2):113-130. doi: 10.1038/s41569-018-0080-2.


Diabetes mellitus is an important risk factor for a first cardiovascular event and for worse outcomes after a cardiovascular event has occurred. This situation might be caused, at least in part, by the prothrombotic status observed in patients with diabetes. Therefore, contemporary antithrombotic strategies, including more potent agents or drug combinations, might provide greater clinical benefit in patients with diabetes than in those without diabetes. In this Consensus Statement, our Working Group explores the mechanisms of platelet and coagulation activity, the current debate on antiplatelet therapy in primary cardiovascular disease prevention, and the benefit of various antithrombotic approaches in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes. While acknowledging that current data are often derived from underpowered, observational studies or subgroup analyses of larger trials, we propose antithrombotic strategies for patients with diabetes in various cardiovascular settings (primary prevention, stable coronary artery disease, acute coronary syndromes, ischaemic stroke and transient ischaemic attack, peripheral artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and venous thromboembolism). Finally, we summarize the improvements in cardiovascular outcomes observed with the latest glucose-lowering drugs, and on the basis of the available evidence, we expand and integrate current guideline recommendations on antithrombotic strategies in patients with diabetes for both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Blood Coagulation / physiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / epidemiology
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention / methods
  • Secondary Prevention / trends


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Hypoglycemic Agents