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AimsTo assess any disparities in the initiation of second-line antidiabetic treatments prescribed among people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in England according to ethnicity and social deprivation level.Materials and methodsThis cross-sectional study used linked primary (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) and secondary care data (Hospital Episode Statistics), and the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). We included people aged 18 years or older with T2DM who intensified to second-line oral antidiabetic medication between 2014 and 2020 to investigate disparities in second-line antidiabetic treatment prescribing (one of sulphonylureas [SUs], dipeptidyl peptidase-4 [DPP-4] inhibitors, or sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 [SGLT2] inhibitors, in combination with metformin) by ethnicity (White, South Asian, Black, mixed/other) and deprivation level (IMD quintiles). We report prescriptions of the alternative treatments by ethnicity and deprivation level according to predicted percentages derived from multivariable, multinomial logistic regression.ResultsAmong 36 023 people, 85% were White, 10% South Asian, 4% Black and 1% mixed/other. After adjustment, the predicted percentages for SGLT2 inhibitor prescribing by ethnicity were 21% (95% confidence interval [CI] 19-23%), 20% (95% CI 18-22%), 19% (95% CI 16-22%) and 17% (95% CI 14-21%) among people with White, South Asian, Black, and mixed/other ethnicity, respectively. After adjustment, the predicted percentages for SGLT2 inhibitor prescribing by deprivation were 22% (95% CI 20-25%) and 19% (95% CI 17-21%) for the least deprived and the most deprived quintile, respectively. When stratifying by prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD) status, we found lower predicted percentages of people with prevalent CVD prescribed SGLT2 inhibitors compared with people without prevalent CVD across all ethnicity groups and all levels of social deprivation.ConclusionsAmong people with T2DM, there were no substantial differences by ethnicity or deprivation level in the percentage prescribed either SGLT2 inhibitors, DPP-4 inhibitors or SUs as second-line antidiabetic treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes, obesity & metabolism

Publication Date



Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.