Diabetes is associated with a high risk of cardiovascular complications and ideally anti-diabetic drugs should not only reduce metabolic abnormalities but also reduce the negative impact of diabetes on vascular function; however, lowering blood glucose levels does not necessarily reduce cardiovascular events. Endothelial dysfunction, defined as a reduction in endothelium-dependent vasodilation, is the earliest indicator of vascular disease and this raises the question: Do the currently used anti-diabetic drugs protect endothelial function? Metformin, in use for 60 years, is the first choice drug for type 2 diabetes and based on pre-clinical and clinical data metformin has proven cardiovascular protective actions; in contrast SGLT2 inhibitors were only introduced in 2013 but show great promise. This review compares metformin with SGLT2 inhibitors and the data supporting their protective effects on the endothelium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery