To determine whether sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, compared with glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) or dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, are associated with an increased risk of early bladder cancer events.


We conducted a multisite, population-based, new-user, active comparator cohort study using the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink, Medicare fee-for-service, Optum’s de-identifed Clinformatics Data Mart Database (CDM), and MarketScan Health databases from January 2013 through December 2020. We assembled two cohorts of adults with type 2 diabetes initiating 1) SGLT2 inhibitors or GLP-1RAs and 2) SGLT2 inhibitors or DPP-4 inhibitors. Cox proportional hazards models were fit to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs of incident bladder cancer. The models were weighted using propensity score fine stratification. Site-specific HRs were pooled using random-effects models.


SGLT2 inhibitor (n = 453,560) and GLP-1RA (n = 375,997) users had a median follow-up ranging from 1.5 to 2.2 years. Overall, SGLT2 inhibitors were not associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer compared with GLP-1RAs (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.81–1.00). Similarly, when compared with DPP-4 inhibitors (n = 853,186), SGLT2 inhibitors (n = 347,059) were not associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer (HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.91–1.09) over a median follow-up ranging from 1.6 to 2.6 years. Results were consistent across sensitivity analyses.


Contrary to previous randomized controlled trials, these findings indicate that the use of SGLT2 inhibitors is not associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer compared with GLP-1RAs or DPP-4 inhibitors. This should provide reassurance on the short-term effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on bladder cancer incidence.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.21040987.

E.P. and L.A. are co-senior authors.

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