An injectable drug called liraglutide which is used to lower the blood sugar levels may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke and myocardial infarction, according to the recent study.
Liraglutide is a diabetes medication which has been used since 2009 in clinical purposes. It is a glucagon just like peptide 1 receptor agonist that lowers blood sugar and also reduces body weight.
The findings of the study were published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology which showed that people who used liraglutide to control diabetes had five times fewer chances of getting major cardiovascular events for three years.
"Our study provides support for the cardiovascular effects of liraglutide among a broader unselected group of patients, providing important confirmatory evidence from routine clinical practice," said Bjorn Pasternak, senior researcher at the Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
"We believe it may be of interest to drug regulators, clinical guidelines, physicians and patients," Pasternak added.
Use of liraglutide was also associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular death and any cause of death.
For the study, the team of the researchers used several nationwide records of more than 46,000 patients with information on prescription drugs, diseases and other data in Sweden and Denmark between 2010 and 2016.
Approximately 23,000 patients who were using liraglutide to treat diabetes were compared with the same number of patients who use another diabetes drug, DPP4 inhibitors.
The results of the study majorly focused on cardiovascular events, defined as myocardial infarction, stroke or cardiovascular death.
The rate of major cardiovascular events was 14 per 1,000 person-years among patients using liraglutide and 15.4 per 1,000 among patients using DPP4 inhibitors, which is a statistically significant difference, the researchers said.
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