How Liraglutide May Help the Heart

Liraglutide in patients with diabetes may reduce cardiovascular complications

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) The diabetes medication liraglutide (brand name Victoza) may reduce patients' risk of cardiovascular complications, a new study found.

And that could be especially welcome news for patients with type 2 diabetes — heart problems are common and a serious complication associated with diabetes.

This study, published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at 9,340 adults with type 2 diabetes and a high risk for heart disease. Around half of these patients received liraglutide, and the other half received a placebo medication.

During the three-year study period, patients who received liraglutide were 13 percent less likely than those who received the placebo to have a heart attack or stroke or die from cardiovascular causes, these University of North Carolina Diabetes Care Center researchers found.

Patients who received liraglutide had a 22 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular causes and a 15 percent lower risk of dying from any cause.

Liraglutide works to reduce blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The study only followed patients for 3 to 5 years, so the safety and efficacy data for liraglutide is limited to this period. 

The National Institutes of Health and Novo Nordisk, which produces liraglutide, funded this research. The study authors disclosed ties with various pharmaceutical companies as potential conflicts of interest.

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Review Date: 
June 20, 2016
Last Updated:
June 23, 2016