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Patients with type 2 diabetes hospitalized for COVID-19 who were taking just one glucose-lowering drug, the oral dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor sitagliptin, were 77% less likely to die compared with similar patients taking insulin, in a retrospective, observational, case-control study in Italy.
Sitagliptin (Januvia, Merck) treatment was also linked with significant and clinically meaningful drops in the rate of need for intensive care or mechanical ventilation compared with patients who received insulin, Sebastiano B. Solerte MD, PhD, and colleagues report in their study published online September 29 in Diabetes Care.
The authors acknowledge that the study’s design means this finding can’t be considered definitive. Despite this limitation, “We think it’s reasonable to try sitagliptin if a patient is admitted to the hospital with type 2 diabetes and COVID,” said Paolo Fiorina, MD, PhD,