In a nutshell
This study aimed to investigate the effect of liraglutide on heart disease in type 2 diabetes (T2D). The main finding of the study was that compared to DPP-4 inhibitors, liraglutide significantly reduced the risk of heart disease in patients with T2D.
Patients with T2D have a higher risk of heart disease. Therefore, there is a greater risk of people with T2D in having heart attacks and strokes, and consequently dying due to heart problems. These are called major cardiovascular events.
Liraglutide (Victoza) 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 body. 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 cardiovascular events in patients with T2D and heart disease. Some have shown no benefit to heart health. The ability of liraglutide to reduce the risk of adverse cardiovascular events in patients with T2D and heart disease is not known.
Methods & findings
This study included 46,804 patients with T2D. Half of these patients (23,402) were taking liraglutide and the other half (23,402) were taking DPP-4 inhibitors (DPP4i; another type of treatment for T2D). Patients were followed up for an average of 3.3 years.
Patients treated with liraglutide were 10% less likely to have a major cardiovascular event compared to those who were talking a DPP4i. Patients who were taking liraglutide and who already had heart disease were 19% less likely to have a major cardiovascular event than those taking a DPP4i. Patients taking liraglutide also had 22% lower risk of death due to heart problems and 17% lower risk of death from any cause than those taking DPP4i. However, there was no significant difference in the risk of heart attack, stroke or heart failure between the two groups.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that compared to DPP4i, liraglutide significantly reduced the risk of heart disease in patients with T2D. They reported that patients who already had heart disease had the best benefit from liraglutide treatment.
The fine print
This study was funded by Novo Nordisk, the developer of liraglutide.
Published By :
The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology
Dec 05, 2018
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