Comorbid obesity, dyslipidemia, and hypertension place patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) at greatly increased risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease-related morbidity and mortality. An urgent need exists for effective treatment for patients with T2DM that encompasses glycemic control, weight loss, and reduction in CV risk factors. The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) liraglutide and exenatide are incretin-based antidiabetes agents. This review examines CV-associated effects of liraglutide and exenatide in animal models and clinical trials with patients with T2DM. Studies support the effectiveness of GLP-1 RAs in reducing hyperglycemia. Further, GLP-1 RAs represent a significant advance in T2DM treatment because they uniquely affect a broad array of CV risk factors through significant weight and systolic blood pressure reduction, improved lipid levels, and possibly, as shown in in vitro studies and animal models, through direct effects on cardiac myocytes and endothelium.
Keywords: Cardiovascular risk; Exenatide; Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist; Liraglutide.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.