Published online Dec 15, 2018. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v9.i12.209
Peer-review started: August 29, 2018
First decision: October 5, 2018
Revised: November 20, 2018
Accepted: November 26, 2018
Article in press: November 26, 2018
Published online: December 15, 2018
Core tip: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is a global burden disease and one of the leading all-cause mortality causes due to cardiovascular (CV) complications. The rapid raise in the understanding of its pathogenesis resulted in treatment approach options beyond insulin that also provide beneficial CV effect. We discuss this scientific pathological and pharmacological development through a comprehensive historical approach. The wide spectrum of therapeutic agents currently used in type 2 DM treatment result in a CV mortality reduction which is not exclusively in correlation with glucose-lowering potency but is linked to its mechanism of action.