Aims/hypothesis: Type 2 diabetes, particularly with concomitant CVD, is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. We assessed the effect on accelerated cognitive decline (ACD) of the DPP-4 inhibitor linagliptin vs the sulfonylurea glimepiride in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Methods: The CAROLINA-COGNITION study was part of the randomised, double-blind, active-controlled CAROLINA trial that evaluated the cardiovascular safety of linagliptin vs glimepiride in individuals with age ≥40 and ≤85 years and HbA1c 48–69 mmol/mol (6.5–8.5%) receiving standard care, excluding insulin therapy. Participants were randomised 1:1 using an interactive telephone- and web-based system and treatment assignment was determined by a computer-generated random sequence with stratification by center. The primary cognitive outcome was occurrence of ACD at end of follow-up, defined as a regression-based index score ≤16th percentile on either the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) or a composite measure of attention and executive functioning, in participants with a baseline MMSE score ≥24. Prespecified additional analyses included effects on ACD at week 160, in subgroups (sex, age, race, ethnicity, depressive symptoms, cardiovascular risk, duration of type 2 diabetes, albuminuria), and absolute changes in cognitive performance. Participants, caregivers, and people involved in measurements, examinations or adjudication, were all masked to treatment assignment. Results: Of 6033 participants recruited from hospital and primary care sites, 3163 (38.0% female, mean age/diabetes duration 64/7.6 years, MMSE score 28.5, HbA1c 54 mmol/mol [7.1%]) represent the CAROLINA-COGNITION cohort. Over median 6.1 years, ACD occurred in 27.8% (449/1618, linagliptin) vs 27.6% (426/1545, glimepiride), OR 1.01 (95% CI 0.86, 1.18). Also, no differences in ACD were observed at week 160 (OR 1.07 [0.91, 1.25]), between treatments across subgroups, or for absolute cognitive changes. Conclusions/interpretation: In a large, international outcome trial in people with relatively early type 2 diabetes at elevated cardiovascular risk, no difference in risk for ACD was observed between linagliptin and glimepiride over 6.1 years. Funding: This study was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. Trial registration: NCT01243424. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Cardiovascular disease, Cognitive decline, DPP-4 inhibitors, Sulfonylureas, Type 2 diabetes,
Diabetologia: clinical and experimental diabetes and metabolism
Department of Neurology

Biessels, G.J, Verhagen, C. (Chloë), Janssen, J, van den Berg, E, Wallenstein, G. (Gudrun), Zinman, B. (Bernard), … Johansen, O.E. (Odd Erik). (2021). Effects of linagliptin vs glimepiride on cognitive performance in type 2 diabetes: results of the randomised double-blind, active-controlled CAROLINA-COGNITION study. Diabetologia: clinical and experimental diabetes and metabolism. doi:10.1007/s00125-021-05393-8