Utilization rates of SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists and their facility-level variation among patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes: Insights from the department of veterans affairs

Document Type



Office of the Provost; Cardiology


Objective: There is mounting evidence regarding the cardiovascular benefits of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) and glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA) among patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). There is paucity of data assessing real-world practice patterns for these drug classes. We aimed to assess utilization rates of these drug classes and facility-level variation in their use.
Research design and methods: We used the nationwide Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system data set from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020 and included patients with established ASCVD and T2DM. Among these patients, we assessed the use of SGLT2i and GLP-1 RA and the facility-level variation in their use. Facility-level variation was computed using median rate ratios (MRR), a measure of likelihood that two random facilities differ in use of SGLT2i and GLP-1 RA in patients with ASCVD and T2DM.
Results: Among 537,980 patients with ASCVD and T2DM across 130 VA facilities, 11.2% of patients received an SGLT2i while 8.0% of patients received a GLP-1 RA. Patients receiving these cardioprotective glucose-lowering drug classes were on average younger and had a higher proportion of non-Hispanic Whites. Overall, median (10th-90th percentile) facility-level rates were 14.92% (9.31-22.50) for SGLT2i and 10.88% (4.44-17.07) for GLP-1 RA. There was significant facility-level variation among SGLT2i use-MRRunadjusted: 1.41 (95% CI 1.35-1.47) and MRRadjusted: 1.55 (95% CI 1.46 -1.63). Similar facility-level variation was observed for use of GLP-1 RA-MRRunadjusted: 1.34 (95% CI 1.29-1.38) and MRRadjusted: 1.78 (95% CI 1.65-1.90).
Conclusions: Overall utilization rates of SGLT2i and GLP-1 RA among eligible patients are low, with significantly higher residual facility-level variation in the use of these drug classes. Our results suggest opportunities to optimize their use to prevent future adverse cardiovascular events among these patients.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Diabetes care