Worldwide inertia to the use of cardiorenal protective glucose-lowering drugs (SGLT2i and GLP-1 RA) in high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes

Guntram Schernthaner (Coresponding Author), Naim Shehadeh, Alexander S. Ametov, Anna V. Bazarova, Fahim Ebrahimi, Peter Fasching, Andrej Janež, Péter Kempler, Ilze Konrāde, Nebojša M. Lalić, Boris Mankovsky, Emil Martinka, Dario Rahelić, Cristian Serafinceanu, Jan Škrha, Tsvetalina Tankova, Žydrūnė Visockienė

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The disclosure of proven cardiorenal benefits with certain antidiabetic agents was supposed to herald a new era in the management of type 2 diabetes (T2D), especially for the many patients with T2D who are at high risk for cardiovascular and renal events. However, as the evidence in favour of various sodium–glucose transporter-2 inhibitor (SGLT2i) and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA) accumulates, prescriptions of these agents continue to stagnate, even among eligible, at-risk patients. By contrast, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4i) DPP-4i remain more widely used than SGLT2i and GLP-1 RA in these patients, despite a similar cost to SGLT2i and a large body of evidence showing no clear benefit on cardiorenal outcomes. We are a group of diabetologists united by a shared concern that clinical inertia is preventing these patients from receiving life-saving treatments, as well as placing them at greater risk of hospitalisation for heart failure and progression of renal disease. We propose a manifesto for change, in order to increase uptake of SGLT2i and GLP-1 RA in appropriate patients as a matter of urgency, especially those who could be readily switched from an agent without proven cardiorenal benefit. Central to our manifesto is a shift from linear treatment algorithms based on HbA1c target setting to parallel, independent considerations of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, heart failure and renal risks, in accordance with newly updated guidelines. Finally, we call upon all colleagues to play their part in implementing our manifesto at a local level, ensuring that patients do not pay a heavy price for continued clinical inertia in T2D.

Original languageEnglish
Article number185
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Cardiorenal protection
  • Clinical inertia
  • Glucose lowering drugs
  • Type 2 diabetes

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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