Liraglutide decreases carotid intima-media thickness in patients with type 2 diabetes: 8-month prospective pilot study
1 Biomedical Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
2 Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology, Palermo, Italy
3 Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
4 Division of Endocrinology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, 8.138 Medical Research Building, 301 University Boulevard, 77555-1060 Galveston, TX, USA
Cardiovascular Diabetology 2014, 13:49 doi:10.1186/1475-2840-13-49Published: 22 February 2014
Liraglutide, a long-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog, has several non- glycemic properties, but its effect on carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), a recognized marker of subclinical atherosclerosis, is still unknown.
A prospective study of 8 months duration in 64 patients with type-2 diabetes and no prior history of coronary artery disease evaluated whether adding liraglutide to metformin affects carotid IMT, measured by color doppler ultrasound.
After 8 months, fasting glucose decreased by 2.1 mmol/l and HbA1c by 1.9% (p < 0.01 for all). Liraglutide reduced total-cholesterol and triglycerides by 10%, and LDL-cholesterol by 19%, whereas HDL-cholesterol increased by 18% (p < 0.01 for all lipid changes). Carotid IMT decreased from 1.19 ± 0.47 to 0.94 ± 0.21 mm (p < 0.01). Yet, changes in carotid IMT did not correlate with changes in any other variable studied.
Liraglutide decreases carotid IMT after 8 months treatment independently of its effect on plasma glucose and lipids concentrations.