AIMS: Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by an increased risk of developing long-term cardiovascular complications. Several underlying mechanisms have been proposed for the diabetes-related increase in cardiovascular risk, i.e. chronic hyperglycemia, duration of the disease, drug-induced hypoglycemia, coexistence of multiple cardiovascular risk factors, etc. In the last few years, new pharmacological approaches capable of treating chronic hyperglycemia without increasing the risk of hypoglycemia have emerged for the treatment of diabetes.DATA SYNTHESIS: With data mainly obtained from randomized controlled trials recruiting patients with type 2 diabetes in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, some of these newer antihyperglycemic drugs have shown to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, the combined control of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, e.g. dyslipidemia, hypertension, etc., has demonstrated to be effective in reducing the burden of cardiovascular diseases in patients with type 2 diabetes.CONCLUSIONS: In this document written by some experts of the Italian diabetes society (SID), we will focus our attention on oral antihyperglycemic agents for people with type 2 diabetes in primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, excluding for brevity the injection therapies for diabetes, such as insulin and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists.
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