In a nutshell
This study investigated the safety and effectiveness of albiglutide (Tanzeum) in preventing cardiovascular events (CVE) such as heart attacks and strokes in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and heart disease. The main finding was that albiglutide reduced the risk of CVE in these patients.
Patients with T2D have a higher risk of heart disease. Therefore, there is a greater risk of people with T2D having heart attacks and strokes, and consequently dying due to heart problems. We call these adverse cardiovascular events (CVE).
Albiglutide is a drug used in the treatment of T2D. It is a GLP-1 agonist. It works by causing insulin to be released by the pancreas. Insulin is the hormone that controls blood sugar. There are many different GLP-1 agonists used in the treatment of T2D. Some have been shown to decrease the risk of adverse CVE in patients with T2D and heart disease. The ability of albiglutide to reduce the risk of adverse CVE in patients with T2D and heart disease is still not known.
Methods & findings
The study included 9463 patients with T2D and heart disease. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either albiglutide or a placebo (a drug that has no effect on the body). All patients also received standard treatments for T2D and heart disease. Patients were followed up for an average of 1.6 years.
At follow-up, patients who were taking albiglutide were 22% less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die from heart-related causes compared to those who took the placebo. The albiglutide-treated group also had greater reductions in their HbA1c (a marker of blood sugar control of the last 3 months) and weight loss compared to the placebo-treated group. There was no difference in serious side effects between the two groups.
The bottom line
The study concluded that albiglutide can reduce the risk of adverse cardiovascular events in patients with T2D and heart disease, without an increased safety risk.
The fine print
The follow-up period was quite short. Longer-term studies are needed to determine the long-term cardiovascular effects of albiglutide in these patients.
This study was funded by GlaxoSmithKline, the developer of albiglutide.
Discuss with your doctor any concerns you may have regarding treatment for T2D and heart disease.
Published By :
Lancet (London, England)
Oct 01, 2018
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