IntroductionThere is no consensus on the optimal therapeutic approach to adopt in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD). The study aimed to gather an expert consensus on the hypoglycemic treatment and CV risk management in patients with newly diagnosed T2DM through the Delphi methodology.
MethodsTo address this issue, a list of 30 statements concerning the definition of "early T2DM patient", early treatment, CV risk in T2DM, treat-to-benefit approach, and indications for treatment with glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) and sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors was developed. Using a two-round Delphi methodology, the survey was distributed to 80 Italian diabetes specialists who rated their level of agreement with each statement on a 5-point Likert scale. Consensus was predefined as more than 66% of the panel agreeing/disagreeing with any given statement.
ResultsA total of 27/30 statements achieved consensus. A patient was defined as "early" according to pathophysiological or clinical interpretation, and/or the timing of the diagnosis. There was agreement on the importance to reach the lowest possible HbA1c level, since diagnosis, also using combination therapy with hypoglycemic drugs with a proven CV benefit. There was a consensus that a treat-to-benefit approach involves the addition of a glucose-lowering agent with proven CV benefits to metformin since diagnosis. The use of GLP-1RAs and SGLT2 inhibitors was considered a key strategy in this approach and the benefits were recognized also for patients with T2DM without established CVD. GLP-1RAs should be used at an earlier stage than SGLT2 inhibitors to prevent CVD, especially in patients with evidence of subclinical atherosclerotic disease.
ConclusionThis Delphi consensus recognized the importance to adopt a tailored hypoglycemic treatment of patients with T2DM according to their CVD risk and the key role of glucose-lowering agents with proven CV efficacy, GLP-1RAs and SGLT2 inhibitors, in the context of an early treat-to-benefit approach.