New medications for diabetes management have additional heart benefits, study finds

August 27, 2018, St. Michael's Hospital
A drug used to manage diabetes may reduce heart disease and death in people with diabetes regardless of their cholesterol levels and whether they are on a statin therapy, suggests a new analysis of the LEADER trial led by Dr. Subodh Verma, director of the CardioLink platform at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS) of St. Michael's Hospital; Dr. Lawrence Leiter, director of the Lipid Clinic at St. Michael's; and Dr. David Mazer, associate scientist at the KRCBS. Credit: St. Michael's Hospital

A drug used to manage diabetes may reduce heart disease and death in people with diabetes regardless of their cholesterol levels and whether they are on a statin therapy, suggests a new analysis of the LEADER trial.

The analysis suggests people with Type 2 diabetes and high cardiovascular risk have a lowered risk of death from heart attack, nonfatal heart attack and nonfatal stroke when receiving liraglutide treatment, regardless of their (LDL-C) levels and whether they are concurrently taking statins. Liraglutide is a medication that works through various mechanisms to help reduce blood sugar.

Dr. Subodh Verma, cardiac surgeon-scientist and director of the CardioLink platform at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS) of St. Michael's Hospital in Canada, presented these findings at the European Society of Cardiology Annual Congress in Munich, Germany. They were published simultaneously in in Circulation. Dr. Lawrence Leiter, director of the Lipid Clinic at St. Michael's, and Dr. David Mazer, associate scientist at the KRCBS co-led the study. St. Michael's was one of more than 400 international sites to participate in the LEADER trial, an FDA-mandated randomized control trial involving more than 9,300 patients with Type 2 diabetes to evaluate liraglutide and its effects on .

"One of the many ways in which we reduce heart disease is by treating people with statins to lower their cholesterol," Dr. Verma said. "This work brings us closer to understanding whether there is further benefit of newer agents that treat diabetes and whether those benefits persist in people who are taking statins."

LDL-C levels are an important marker of developing heart disease. Higher levels of LDL-C are associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease. Statins are lipid-lowering medications that lower the risk of heart disease.

Dr. Verma said these results are exciting as they show there are more options to lowering in people with diabetes than the use of statins alone.

"This analysis suggests that we have another tool in our armamentarium to further reduce risk for people who have Type 2 ," he said.

This study was funded by Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company that developed liraglutide.

Explore further: Fenofibrate may reduce heart disease risk in some patients with type 2 diabetes

More information: Circulation (2018). DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.036862

Related Stories

Fenofibrate may reduce heart disease risk in some patients with type 2 diabetes

December 28, 2016
A new study shows that the drug fenofibrate might reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes who have high levels of triglycerides and low levels of "good" cholesterol, despite being treated ...

Statins save lives of people with high levels of LDL cholesterol

April 17, 2018
Cholesterol-lowering drugs are more likely to save thousands of additional lives when used in people with higher levels of LDL cholesterol, or "bad" cholesterol, according to a new study from the University of Iowa, published ...

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may reduce cardiovascular death in Type 2 diabetes

July 16, 2014
July 16, 2014 – Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability among people with Type 2 diabetes. In fact, at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke, ...

Diabetes drug lowers risk of cardiovascular complications, kidney disease

June 13, 2016
Researchers have shown that the glucose-lowering drug liraglutide safely and effectively decreases the overall risk of heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death for people with type 2 diabetes. These patients are at high ...

Cholesterol lowering drugs cut risk of a first heart attack or stroke

November 14, 2016
Cholesterol-lowering drugs help prevent heart attacks and strokes in adults with cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking, but have not yet had a heart attack or stroke, ...

Number of Americans taking statins keeps rising: CDC

December 23, 2014
(HealthDay)—More Americans than ever are taking cholesterol-lowering medications, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Studies reveal role of red meat in gut bacteria, heart disease development

December 10, 2018
In concurrent studies, Cleveland Clinic researchers have uncovered new mechanisms that demonstrate why and how regularly eating red meat can increase the risk of heart disease, and the role gut bacteria play in that process.

Predicting leaky heart valves with 3-D printing

December 10, 2018
More than one in eight people aged 75 and older in the United States develop moderate-to-severe blockage of the aortic valve in their hearts, usually caused by calcified deposits that build up on the valve's leaflets and ...

Study points to optimal blood pressure treatment for stroke patients

December 10, 2018
Aggressive treatment of hypertension in stroke patients could do more harm than good in the long term, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Georgia.

Team uses gene editing to personalize clinical care for family with cardiomyopathy

December 10, 2018
A little over a year ago, a 65-year-old woman with severe hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—a condition in which the heart's muscle becomes abnormally thick, potentially causing dangerous irregular heartbeats—had her genes ...

Increasing statins dose and patient adherence could save more lives

December 7, 2018
Thousands of heart attacks and deaths from cardiovascular disease could be prevented by patients taking higher doses of statins and taking the drugs as advised by doctors.

Progress made in transplanting pig hearts into baboons

December 6, 2018
A large team of researchers from several institutions in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S. has transplanted pig hearts into baboons and kept them alive for an extended period of time. In their paper published in the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.