A common type 2 diabetes drug has been found to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death, researchers have said.
Liraglutide (marketed as Victoza and Saxenda) is a GLP-1 analogue drug that is used to help people to lower their blood glucose levels. Last year, Victoza received EU approval to treat cardiovascular risks in type 2 diabetes.
Previous research has shown that the drug reduces the risk of a major heart attack or stroke among those with diabetes, who were already suffering from established cardiovascular disease.
Because cardiovascular disease is more likely among people with diabetes, Karolinska Institutet researchers in Sweden wanted to investigate whether the drug could reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular events in a more general population of people with diabetes that included those with or without a history of cardiovascular disease.
The trial involved 46,000 people with type 2 diabetes, half of whom were given liraglutide, the others took medication from the diabetes drug class DPP-4 inhibitors.
The findings showed there were 14 major cardiovascular events per 1,000 people in the liraglutide group, while the DPP-4 inhibitor group saw 15.4 per 1,000.
Björn Pasternak, senior researcher at the Department of Medicine, Solna, Karolinska Institutet, and affiliated with Statens Serum Institut, said: “Our study provides support for the cardiovascular effectiveness of liraglutide among a broader unselected group of patients, providing important confirmatory evidence from routine clinical practice.
“We believe it may be of interest to drug regulators, clinical guidelines, physicians, and patients.”
The findings of the study have been published in the Lancet Diabetes &Endocrinology journal.

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