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Diabetes Medications and Risk of Parkinson's Disease: A Cohort Study of Patients with Diabetes


The elevated risk of Parkinson's disease in patients with diabetes might be mitigated depending on the type of drugs prescribed to treat diabetes. Population data for risk of Parkinson's disease in users of the newer types of drugs used in diabetes are scarce. We compared the risk of Parkinson's disease in patients with diabetes exposed to thiazolidinediones (glitazones), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists and dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors, with the risk of Parkinson's disease of users of any other oral glucose lowering drugs. A population-based, longitudinal, cohort study was conducted using historic primary care data from The Health Improvement Network. Patients with a diagnosis of diabetes and a minimum of two prescriptions for diabetes medications between January 2006 and January 2019 were included in our study. The primary outcome was the first recording of a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease after the index date, identified from clinical records. We compared the risk of Parkinson's disease in individuals treated with glitazones or DPP4 inhibitors and/or GLP-1 receptor agonists to individuals treated with other antidiabetic agents using a Cox regression with inverse probability of treatment weighting based on propensity scores. Results were analysed separately for insulin users. Among 100 288 patients [mean age 62.8 years (standard deviation 12.6)], 329 (0.3%) were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease during the median follow-up of 3.33 years. The incidence of Parkinson's disease was 8 per 10 000 person-years in 21 175 patients using glitazones, 5 per 10 000 person-years in 36 897 patients using DPP4 inhibitors and 4 per 10 000 person-years in 10 684 using GLP-1 mimetics, 6861 of whom were prescribed GTZ and/or DPP4 inhibitors prior to using GLP-1 mimetics. Compared with the incidence of Parkinson's disease in the comparison group (10 per 10 000 person-years), adjusted results showed no evidence of any association between the use of glitazones and Parkinson's disease [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.17; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.76-1.63; P = 0.467], but there was strong evidence of an inverse association between use of DPP4 inhibitors and GLP-1 mimetics and the onset of Parkinson's disease (IRR 0.64; 95% CI 0.43-0.88; P < 0.01 and IRR 0.38; 95% CI 0.17-0.60; P < 0.01, respectively). Results for insulin users were in the same direction, but the overall size of this group was small. The incidence of Parkinson's disease in patients diagnosed with diabetes varies substantially depending on the treatment for diabetes received. The use of DPP4 inhibitors and/or GLP-1 mimetics is associated with a lower rate of Parkinson's disease compared to the use of other oral antidiabetic drugs.


Brauer, R., Wei, L., Ma, T., Athauda, D., Girges, C., Vijiaratnam, N., ... & Foltynie, T. (2020). Diabetes medications and risk of Parkinson’s disease: a cohort study of patients with diabetes. Brain, 143(10), 3067-3076.

For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.
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