New Diabetes Drug Could Lower Risk Of Kidney Disease, Cardiovascular Problems

A large-scale clinical trial showed cardiovascular benefits for diabetics who took the drug liraglutide, according to a new study conducted by University of North Carolina Health Care researchers.

The glucose-lowering drug liraglutide safely decreased the dangers of stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular death for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Researchers also claim that the drug lowered the risk of kidney disease.

Patients suffering from type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease - the primary cause of death for those battling the disease.

“I’ve been excited about liraglutide for a long time because I think it’s unique,” said John Buse, MD, PhD, senior author of the study. “This is the first diabetes drug that has shown across-the-board benefits for cardiovascular diseases, and this suggests it plays a role in treating atherosclerosis, which is what leads to heart attacks and strokes.”

Three-year trial

Researchers conducted a randomized double-blind study of over 9,000 adults living with type 2 diabetes. Half of the participants took liraglutide while the other half consumed a placebo.

At the conclusion of the three-year study, researchers noted that patients who took the glucose-lowering drug versus those that did not showed a 13 percent lower risk of heart attack or stroke, a 22 percent decrease in cardiovascular mortality and a 22 percent lower risk of showing new evidence of advanced kidney disease.

“This changes the whole conversation about treating diabetes,” said Buse. “To date, people have taken diabetes drugs to lower blood sugar. Now we can say that they should take liraglutide to prevent or delay the worst things that occur commonly in diabetes – heart attacks, strokes, advanced kidney disease and death.”

Source: University of North Carolina Health Care

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