Diabetes and cardiovascular disease: the potential benefit of incretin-based therapies

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2011 Apr;13(2):115-22. doi: 10.1007/s11883-010-0153-0.


The health burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus continues to increase worldwide. A substantial portion of this burden is due to the development of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes. Recent failures of clinical trials of intensive glucose control to reduce macrovascular events, coupled with reports of potential harm of certain diabetic therapy, have led to increased scrutiny as new diabetic therapies are developed. Incretin peptides are a group of gastrointestinal proteins that regulate glucose metabolism through multiple mechanisms, and incretin-based therapies have been developed to treat type 2 diabetes. These agents include glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) inhibitors. In addition to effects on glucose homeostasis, growing evidence suggest that these peptides may also affect the cardiovascular system. In this review, we discuss recent findings concerning the potential, yet untested, benefits of incretin-based pharmacotherapy in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Causality
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incretins / administration & dosage*
  • Incretins / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Prevention / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Rate


  • Incretins