Objective: To evaluate the effects of six-month liraglutide treatment on body weight, visceral and subcutaneous fat and related markers in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients.
Methods: A total of 59 patients with type 2 diabetes were treated with liraglutide (0.3 mg/day for ≥1 week and then 0.6 mg/day for ≥1 week, gradually increasing the dose to 0.9 mg/day) for six months. Changes in body weight, body mass index (BMI), HbA1c, the fasting blood glucose level, visceral and subcutaneous fat areas, hepatic and renal CT values and the associated markers proinsulin, adiponectin and pentraxin (PTX) 3 were measured.
Results: The study included one treatment-naïve patient, 10 patients who were switched from oral antidiabetic drugs and 35 patients who were switched from insulin therapy. At six months after treatment, the preprandial blood glucose levels were higher (148.8±40.5 mg/dL) than the baseline values (130.8±36.7, p<0.05); however, body weight, BMI and abdominal circumference were lower, and the liver/kidney CT ratio improved significantly from 1.64±0.44 at baseline to 1.78±0.42. An analysis of the patients who were not pretreated with insulin resistance ameliorators showed that six months of liraglutide treatment significantly decreased the subcutaneous but not visceral fat areas, significantly decreased the serum adiponectin levels and significantly increased the serum PTX3 levels.
Conclusion: In addition to its glucose-lowering effects, liraglutide exhibits weight loss promotion actions, reducing subcutaneous fat areas in particular. The weight and total fat area reduction properties of liraglutide are likely to be beneficial when this medication is used in combination with other oral antidiabetic drugs and insulin.