Research Shows Benefits of Diabetes Drug in Heart Disease

June 25, 2014
HCPLive staff

A drug which has already been approved for patients with diabetes could have more benefits for people at risk of having heart disease, according a recent study.

A drug which has already been approved for patients with diabetes could have more benefits for people at risk of having heart disease, according a recent study.

The use of liraglutide along with diet and exercise appears to have shown a reduction in weight which also helped with minimizing some cardiovascular issues according to the study which was presented at the 2014 Joint Meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago.

Carl LeRoux, MD, PhD, of the Diabetes Complications Research Centre at the University College Dublin said the results of the study came from looking at a group of more than 3700 overweight and obese nondiabetic adults. “If these improvements continue over time, they may result in a lower risk of heart disease,” he noted.

Currently Liraglutide is being tested in 3mg doses for long-term weight loss according to LeRoux. The drug is currently known as Victoza and is available in 1.2 and 1.8mg doses for adults with Type 2 diabetes. It is not currently approved for weight loss though the study was sponsored by the drug company Novo Nordisk.

Study subjects all had at least one risk factor for diabetes and heart disease including prediabetes or high blood pressure. They were all asked to exercise and consume 500 fewer calories on a daily basis. A total of 2487 members of the study were given the 3 mg injections while the other 1244 participants were given injections of a placebo over the course of 56 weeks.

Results of the study showed that those injected with the drug lost 5.4% more of their body weight for a total of nearly 8% while also losing more than 1.7 more inches from their waistline than those who received the placebo injections.

Other benefits from the study according to the announced results were an improvement in blood pressure, fasting lipids, LDL and HDL as well as triglycerides and total cholesterol. As a result patients who received the injections also saw a decrease in the usage of blood pressure and lipid-lowering drugs. “Current obesity treatments are limited,” Le Roux said. “There is a need for new treatment options for people who struggle with obesity and obesity-related diseases that can help in reducing their weight.”