Mortality lower among COVID-19 patients taking sitagliptin

A retrospective case-control trial of Italian patients with type 2 diabetes who were given the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor upon admission for COVID-19 found significant reductions in mortality and improvements in clinical outcomes.

Sitagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, was associated with lower mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to an Italian study published by Diabetes Care on Sept. 29. The retrospective, observational, case-control study included 169 patients with type 2 diabetes who were given sitagliptin (in addition to usual care, including insulin) starting at admission for COVID-19, matched to an equal number of controls receiving usual care. All patients had pneumonia and oxygen saturation below 95%. Treatment with sitagliptin was associated with reduced risk of mortality (18% vs. 37%; P=0.0001) and higher likelihood of improvement in clinical score (60% vs. 38%; P=0.0001) at 30 days. The authors noted that there are multiple biological explanations for why DPP-4 inhibitors may be beneficial in treatment of COVID-19 and called for confirmation of their results with randomized, controlled trials of sitagliptin.