Purpose: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is an important risk factor for glaucoma, and sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors have been shown to protect the optic nerves. We therefore aimed to evaluate the association between SGLT2 inhibitors and incident glaucoma. Methods: This retrospective cohort study analyzed the largest multi-institutional electronic medical records database in Taiwan, containing data of over a million individuals. We included T2D patients newly prescribed SGLT2 inhibitors or glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) from 2016 to 2018. Our primary outcome was incident glaucoma diagnosis between initiation of SGLT2 inhibitors or GLP-1 RAs, and 31st March 2021. After applying inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) to increase homogeneity between the two treatment groups, we estimated hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the risk of glaucoma, based on Cox proportional hazards regression models. Results: We included 9,927 and 1,065 T2D patients who had been newly prescribed SGLT2 inhibitors or GLP-1 RAs, respectively. Lower risk of incident glaucoma was observed in patients receiving SGLT2 inhibitors (7.9 events per 1,000 person-years), compared to those receiving GLP-1 RAs (10.0 events per 1,000 person-years), with an HR of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.69–0.95). Multiple sensitivity analyses and a negative control outcome analysis confirmed the robustness of our main findings. Conclusion: This study suggests that T2D patients newly prescribed SGLT2 inhibitors have a reduced risk of incident glaucoma, compared to those prescribed GLP-1 RAs, in clinical practice. Future prospective studies are suggested to confirm this association.
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