(HealthDay News) – In patients with type 2 diabetes, mortality is significantly higher after first-line monotherapy with sulfonylureas compared with metformin, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, held from Sept. 23–27 in Barcelona, Spain.

Sara Jenkins-Jones, from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data on all-cause mortality from 15,687 patients with type 2 diabetes treated with sulfonylureas and 76,811 patients with type 2 diabetes treated with metformin as first-line monotherapy from 2010–2012. A matched cohort study and a study based on matched propensity scores were also performed using a subset of the data.

The researchers found that the risk of all-cause mortality was significantly higher for patients treated with sulfonylureas, both in the main analysis (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.58), the matched cohort analysis (aHR, 1.34), and the analysis based on matched propensity scores (aHR, 1.9).

“Whilst residual confounding and confounding by indication may remain, this study indicates that treatment with first-line monotherapy with sulfonylureas should be reconsidered,” Jenkins-Jones and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb; one author is an employee of the company.

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