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AIMS: To conduct a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to assess the effect of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors on inflammatory biomarkers. METHODS: Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library were searched for RCTs investigating the effect of SGLT2 inhibitors on inflammatory biomarkers, adipokine profiles and insulin sensitivity. RESULTS: Thirty-eight RCTs were included (14 967 participants, 63.3% male, mean age 62 ± 8.6 years) with a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 16 (12-24) weeks. Meta-analysis showed that SGLT2 inhibitors significantly improved adiponectin, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor receptor-1 (vs. placebo alone: standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.34 [95% confidence interval {CI} 0.23, 0.45], mean difference [MD] -0.85 pg/mL [95% CI -1.32, -0.38], SMD -0.13 [95% CI -0.20, -0.06], respectively), leptin and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance index (vs. CONTROL: SMD -0.20 [95% CI -0.33, -0.07], MD -0.83 [95% CI -1.32, -0.33], respectively). There were no significant changes in C-reactive protein (CRP), tumour necrosis factor-α, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, fibroblast growth factor-21 or monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis shows that SGLT2 inhibitors likely improve adipokine biomarkers and insulin sensitivity, but there is little evidence that SGLT2 inhibitors improve other inflammatory biomarkers including CRP.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Obes Metab

Publication Date



cardiovascular disease, dapagliflozin, empagliflozin, inflammation, mechanism of action, sodium‐glucose co‐transporter‐2 inhibitors