Liraglutide May Increase Heart Rate in Type 2 Diabetes With Coronary Artery Disease

HealthDay News — Liraglutide increases heart rate and reduces heart rate variability in overweight patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and stable coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Preman Kumarathurai, MD, from the Copenhagen University Hospital of Bispebjerg in Denmark, and colleagues administered liraglutide or placebo to a backbone therapy of metformin. As a measure of heart rate variability, the standard deviation of beat-to-beat (SDNN) intervals was assessed by 24-hour Holter monitoring. The authors also assessed diurnal heart rate variability and sympathovagal balance analyzed by root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD) in NN intervals and high frequency (HF) and low-frequency (LF) power.

The researchers found that, compared with placebo, liraglutide decreased SDNN in 27 subjects; decreased RMSSD; and increased the mean, daytime, and nighttime heart rate. After adjustment for metabolic and heart rate changes, the decrease in SDNN remained significant. Liraglutide also correlated with a reduction in HF power, without affecting the LF/HF ratio.

“In overweight patients with CAD and newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, liraglutide increased heart rate and reduced heart rate variability despite significant weight loss and improvement in metabolic parameters,” the authors wrote.

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Novo Nordisk, which manufactures liraglutide and funded the study.

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  1. Kumarathurai P, Anholm C, Larsen BS, et al. Effects of liraglutide on heart rate and heart rate variability: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Diabetes Care. 2016 Oct 19. doi:10.2337/dc16-1580.