Cardiovascular and mortality outcomes with GLP-1 receptor agonists vs other glucose-lowering drugs in individuals with NAFLD and type 2 diabetes: a large population-based matched cohort study

Arunkumar Krishnan, Carolin V. Schneider, Yousaf Hadi, Diptasree Mukherjee, Bandar AlShehri, Saleh A. Alqahtani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims/hypothesis: We aimed to determine whether the use of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA) in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus decreases the risk of new-onset adverse cardiovascular events (CVEs) and mortality rate compared with other glucose-lowering drugs in a real setting at a population level. Methods: We conducted a population-based propensity-matched retrospective cohort study using TriNetX. The cohort comprised patients over 20 years old who were newly treated with glucose-lowering drugs between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2021, and followed until 30 September 2022. New users of GLP-1RAs were matched based on age, demographics, comorbidities and medication use by using 1:1 propensity matching with other glucose-lowering drugs. The primary outcome was the new onset of adverse CVEs, including heart failure, composite incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE; defined as unstable angina, myocardial infarction, or coronary artery procedures or surgeries) and composite cerebrovascular events (defined as the first occurrence of stroke, transient ischaemic attack, cerebral infarction, carotid intervention or surgery), and the secondary outcome was all-cause mortality. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate HRs. Results: The study involved 2,835,398 patients with both NAFLD and type 2 diabetes. When compared with the sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors group, the GLP-1RAs group showed no evidence of a difference in terms of new-onset heart failure (HR 0.97; 95% CI 0.93, 1.01), MACE (HR 0.95; 95% CI 0.90, 1.01) and cerebrovascular events (HR 0.99; 95% CI 0.94, 1.03). Furthermore, the two groups had no evidence of a difference in mortality rate (HR 1.06; 95% CI 0.97, 1.15). Similar results were observed across sensitivity analyses. Compared with other second- or third-line glucose-lowering medications, the GLP-1RAs demonstrated a lower rate of adverse CVEs, including heart failure (HR 0.88; 95% CI 0.85, 0.92), MACE (HR 0.89; 95% CI 0.85, 0.94), cerebrovascular events (HR 0.93; 95% CI 0.89, 0.96) and all-cause mortality rate (HR 0.70; 95% CI 0.66, 0.75). Conclusions/interpretation: In individuals with NAFLD and type 2 diabetes, GLP-1RAs are associated with lower incidences of adverse CVEs and all-cause mortality compared with metformin or other second- and third-line glucose-lowering medications. However, there was no significant difference in adverse CVEs or all-cause mortality when compared with those taking SGLT2 inhibitors. Graphical Abstract: (Figure presented.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-493
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Adverse cardiovascular events
  • GLP-1RA
  • Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists
  • Mortality
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Outcomes
  • SGLT2i
  • Sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors
  • T2DM
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Cardiovascular and mortality outcomes with GLP-1 receptor agonists vs other glucose-lowering drugs in individuals with NAFLD and type 2 diabetes: a large population-based matched cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this