Objective: In 2019, the European Society of Cardiology led and released new guidelines for diabetes cardiovascular risk management, reflecting recent evidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) reduction with sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT-2is) and some glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) in type 2 diabetes (T2D). A key recommendation is that all those with T2D who are (antihyperglycemic) drug naïve or on metformin monotherapy should be CVD risk stratified and an SGLT-2i or a GLP-1RA initiated in all those at high or very high risk, irrespective of glycated hemoglobin. We assessed the impact of these guidelines in Scotland were they introduced as is.
Research design and methods: Using a nationwide diabetes register in Scotland, we did a cross-sectional analysis, using variables in our register for risk stratification at 1 January 2019. We were conservative in our definitions, assuming the absence of a risk factor where data were not available. The risk classifications were applied to people who were drug naïve or on metformin monotherapy and the anticipated prescribing change calculated. RESULTS Of the 265,774 people with T2D in Scotland, 53,194 (20.0% of those with T2D) were drug naïve, and56,906(21.4%) were on metformin monotherapy. Of these, 74.5%and72.4%, respectively, were estimated as at least high risk given the guideline risk definitions.
Conclusions: Thus, 80,830 (30.4%) of all those with T2D (n 5 265,774) would start one of these drug classes according to table 7 and figure 3 of the guideline. The sizeable impact on drug budgets, enhanced clinical monitoring, and the trade-off with reduced CVD-related health care costs will need careful consideration.