Study Title
Pioglitazone Use and Reduced Risk of Dementia in Patients With Diabetes Mellitus With a History of Ischemic Stroke

Junghee Ha, MD, PhD, Dong-Woo Choi, PhD, Kwang Joon Kim, MD, PhD, Keun You Kim, MD, Chung Mo Nam, PhD, and Eosu Kim, MD, PhD


Background and Objectives
Previous studies have reported the protective effect of pioglitazone on dementia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Recent studies have shown that pioglitazone also lowers the risk of primary and recurrent stroke. Understanding the characteristics of patients particularly associated with the benefits of pioglitazone would facilitate its personalized use by specifying subpopulations during routine clinical care. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of pioglitazone use on dementia in consideration of stroke occurrence.

Using nationwide longitudinal data of patients with DM from the Korean National Health Insurance Service DM cohort (2002–2017), we investigated the association of pioglitazone use with incident dementia in patients with new-onset type 2 DM. The heterogeneity of the treatment effect was examined using exploratory analyses. Using a multistate model, we assessed the extent to which incident stroke affects the association between pioglitazone use and dementia.

Pioglitazone use was associated with a reduced risk of dementia, compared with nonuse (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.84, 95% CI 0.75–0.95); the risk reduction in dementia was greater among patients with a history of ischemic heart disease or stroke before DM onset (aHR = 0.46, 95% CI 0.24–0.90; aHR = 0.57, 95% CI 0.38–0.86, respectively). The incidence of stroke was also reduced by pioglitazone use (aHR = 0.81, 95% CI 0.66–1.00). However, when the stroke developed during the observation period of pioglitazone use, such lowered risk of dementia was not observed (aHR = 1.27, 95% CI 0.80–2.04).

Pioglitazone use is associated with a lower risk of dementia in patients with DM, particularly in those with a history of stroke or ischemic heart disease, suggesting the possibility of applying a personalized approach when choosing pioglitazone to suppress dementia in patients with DM.

April 25, 2023
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