medwireNews: A post-hoc analysis of the LEADER trial indicates that liraglutide treatment may reduce the risk for severe hypoglycemia among patients with type 2 diabetes.
As reported by Stephen Bain (University of Swansea, UK) at the 2018 Diabetes UK Professional Conference in London, 2.86% of 9340 participants experienced severe hypoglycemia during the LEADER trial. Of these 267 patients, 114 had been randomly assigned to receive liraglutide and 153 had been given placebo, translating into a rate ratio for severe hypoglycemia of 0.69 in favor of liraglutide.
Patients with episodes of severe hypoglycemia were significantly more likely to experience major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), cardiovascular death, or death from any cause than those who did not experience such events, with corresponding hazard ratios of 2.2, 3.7, and 3.6 after adjustment for follow-up time and treatment allocation.
However, Bain noted that the protective effect of liraglutide on MACE risk previously observed in the LEADER trial was unchanged when patients who experienced severe hypoglycemia were excluded from the analysis.
Therefore, “it is unclear what is accounting for the benefits that were seen with liraglutide in the LEADER study,” he said, although he believes it is “reassuring” that the “extremely similar molecule” semaglutide also demonstrated cardiovascular benefits in the SUSTAIN-6 study.
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