Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Atrial fibrillation (AF) and stroke are both forms of CVD that have major consequences in terms of disabilities and death among patients with diabetes; however, they are less present in the preoccupations of scientific researchers as a primary endpoint of clinical trials. Several publications have found DM to be associated with a higher risk for both AF and stroke; some of the main drugs used for glycemic control have been found to carry either increased, or decreased risks for AF or for stroke in DM patients. Given the risk for thromboembolic cerebrovascular events seen in AF patients, the question arises as to whether stroke and AF occurring with modified incidences in diabetic individuals under therapy with various classes of antihyperglycemic medications are interrelated and should be considered as a whole. At present, the medical literature lacks studies specifically designed to investigate a cause–effect relationship between the incidences of AF and stroke driven by different antidiabetic agents. In default of such proof, we reviewed the existing evidence correlating the major classes of glucose-controlling drugs with their associated risks for AF and stroke; however, supplementary proof is needed to explore a hypothetically causal relationship between these two, both of which display peculiar features in the setting of specific drug therapies for glycemic control.
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