It is important for patients that treatments for diabetes not increase cardiovascular (CV) risk. The objective of this analysis was to examine retrospectively the CV safety of exenatide BID, a GLP-1 receptor agonist approved for treating hyperglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes not adequately controlled with diet and exercise. Individual participant data was pooled to assess the relative risk (RR) of CV events with exenatide BID versus a pooled comparator (PC) group treated with either placebo or insulin from 12 controlled, randomized, clinical trials ranging from 12-52 weeks. Mean baseline values for HbA1c (8.33-8.38%), BMI (31.3-31.5 kg/m2), and duration of diabetes (8 y) were similar between groups. Trials included patients with histories of microvascular and/or macrovascular disease. Customized primary major adverse CV events (MACE) included stroke, myocardial infarction, cardiac mortality, acute coronary syndrome, and revascularization procedures. The Primary MACE RR (0.7; 95% CI 0.38, 1.31), calculated by the Mantel-Haenszel method (stratified by study), suggested that exenatide use (vs. PC) did not increase CV risk; this result was consistent across multiple analytic methods. Because the trials were not designed to assess CV outcomes, events were identified retrospectively from a list of preferred terms by physicians blinded to treatment. Other limitations included the low number of CV events, the short duration of trials (≤1 y), and a single active comparator (insulin). The results of these analyses are consistent with those of a recent retrospective analysis of a large insurance database that found that patients treated with exenatide twice daily were less likely to have a CV event than were patients treated with other glucose-lowering therapies.
Keywords: GLP-1 receptor agonist, diabetes, cardiovascular safety.