In a nutshell
This study determined the effects of liraglutide (Victoza) on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate in patients with hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure) and poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes (T2D). This study concluded that liraglutide improved systolic BP (SBP; the first number of the BP which refers to the pressure when the heart beats), but increased heart rate.
Hypertension is common in patients with Type 2 diabetes. This has been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke and overall mortality.
Liraglutide is a long-acting GLP-1 receptor agonist. This type of treatment helps the pancreas release the right amount of insulin when blood glucose levels are high. Previous studies have shown that liraglutide may lower SBP, reducing the risk of cardiovascular events. Whether liraglutide impacts BP and heart rate in patients with hypertension and T2D remains under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study involved 62 patients with hypertension and poorly controlled T2D. Patients received either liraglutide (50%) or placebo (an inactive tablet; 50%) for five weeks. BP and heart rate were measured using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (a device that measures BP over 24 hours as a patient has normal daily activities).
Overall, liraglutide significantly reduced 24-hour SBP by 5.73 mmHg compared to placebo. Liraglutide also significantly reduced daytime SBP by 6.43 mmHg compared to placebo.
Liraglutide significantly increased 24-hour heart rate by 8.55 beats per minute versus 2.39 beats per minute (placebo). Compared to placebo, liraglutide significantly increased heart rate during the day (by 6.19 beats per minute) and at night (by 6.17 beats per minute).
At 5 weeks, liraglutide significantly decreased HbA1c levels (an average of the blood sugar levels over the last 3 months) by 0.47% compared to placebo.
Overall, 12.9% of patients in each group reported side effects. Most side effects were mild. In the liraglutide group, dizziness and nausea were the most common.
The bottom line
This study concluded that liraglutide was associated with improved systolic blood pressure but an increased heart rate in patients with hypertension.
The fine print
This study received funding support from Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of liraglutide.
The patient population in this study was small. Also, the study duration was short. Larger studies with longer treatment periods are needed to confirm these results.
Published By :
Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Sep 22, 2018
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