American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Diabetes Association Issue Joint Response to published JAMA Article

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February 26, 2013

The American Association of Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American Diabetes Association believe that the study by Singh et al, Glucagon-like Peptide 1-Based Therapies and Risk of Hospitalization for Acute Pancreatitis in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, published online February 25th in JAMA Internal Medicine does not provide the basis for changing treatment in people with diabetes. Fortunately, there will be new data available relatively soon which will allow physicians to definitively assess risks and benefits of this class of medicines.

The analysis is a retrospective study using data from an administrative database. This type of analysis is not considered as robust as a prospective randomized controlled clinical trial, the gold standard for evaluating treatments. There are currently nine ongoing, prospective, controlled trials of GLP-1 based therapy with over 65,000 subjects, which should provide answers to these important safety questions.

While there are risks and benefits associated with any therapy, the retrospective analysis indicates GLP-1 based therapies are associated with a relatively small excess risk of hospitalization for acute pancreatitis, with only two additional cases per 100 patients over a three-year period. This same population of adults, between the ages of 18-64 with type 2 diabetes, had a greater risk of hospitalization for acute pancreatitis if they used tobacco, consumed alcohol or were obese.

As with any therapy, we encourage patients to speak with their doctors to assess which treatments are best for them and to not stop therapy on their own without consulting their doctors.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)