Adding liraglutide to metformin can reduce cardiovascular (CV) risk in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Liraglutide improved oxidative stress, plasma ghrelin concentrations and hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes when added to metformin, reported Manfredi Rizzo, MD, PhD, of the University of Palermo, Italy, and colleagues.
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogs such as liraglutide have been proven effective for type 2 diabetes, but no study had previously investigated their potential effects on CV risk.
The study included 20 participants with type 2 diabetes. Each was treated with subcutaneous liraglutide (0.6 mg daily for 2 weeks, followed by 1.2 mg daily) with 1500 mg/daily metformin for 2 months. Baseline measurements were taken after 14 hours of fasting and again after 2 months of therapy. All of the participants continued the study to completion.
Adding liraglutide significantly reduced HbA1c levels (8.50.4 vs. 7.50.4%, p<0.0001). It also increased plasma ghrelin and glutathione concentrations (8.24 pg/mL vs. 13.6 pg/mL; P=.0007 and 0.36 vs. 0.44nmol/mL;P=.0002, respectively), while decreasing serum lipid hydroperoxides and HO-1 levels (0.11 pg/mL vs.0.04 pg/mL; P=.0487 and 7.7 pg/mL vs. 3.6 pg/mL; P=.0445, respectively).
The researchers believe that these effects occurred independently of liraglutide’s effect on glycemic control, which means it can contribute to reduced CV risk.
Context: Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 analog and glucose-lowering agent whose effects on cardiovascular risk markers have not been fully elucidated.
Objective: We evaluated the impact of liraglutide on markers of oxidative stress, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and plasma ghrelin levels in patients with type-2 diabetes (T2DM).
Conclusions: In a 2-months prospective pilot study, the addition of liraglutide to metformin resulted in improvement in oxidative stress as well as plasma ghrelin and HO-1 concentrations in patients with T2DM. These findings appeared to be independent of the known effects of liraglutide on glucose metabolism.