Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists Across the Spectrum of Heart Failure

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2023 Dec 21;109(1):4-9. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgad398.


Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) have been used to reduce body weight in overweight or people with obesity and to improve glycemic control and cardiovascular outcomes among people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and a high cardiovascular risk. However, the effects of GLP-1 RAs may be modified by the presence of heart failure (HF). In this review, we summarize the evidence for the use of GLP-1 RA across a patient's risk with a particular focus on HF. After a careful review of the literature, we challenge the current views about the use of GLP-1 RAs and suggest performing active HF screening (with directed clinical history, physical examination, an echocardiogram, and natriuretic peptides) before initiating a GLP-1 RA. After HF screening, we suggest GLP-1 RA treatment decisions as follows: (1) in people with T2D without HF, GLP-1 RAs should be used for reducing the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke, with a possible effect to reduce the risk of HF hospitalizations; (2) in patients with HF and preserved ejection fraction, GLP-1 RAs do not reduce HF hospitalizations but may reduce atherosclerotic events, and their use may be considered in an individualized manner; and (3) in patients with HF and reduced ejection fraction, the use of GLP-1 RAs warrants caution due to potential risk of worsening HF events and arrhythmias, pending risk-benefit data from further studies.

Keywords: glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists; heart failure; risk modification.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / metabolism
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor / agonists
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists
  • Heart Failure* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors


  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists
  • Hypoglycemic Agents