A weekly dulaglutide injection in addition to existing medication reduces the risk of cardiovascular outcomes in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), compared with placebo, a study published in The
Lancet has found.
The randomised controlled trial was carried out at 371 sites across 24 countries. The 9,901 participants had T2DM, were aged at least 50 years and had either a previous cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors.
They were each assigned to either a weekly subcutaneous injection of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (known as GLP-1) receptor agonist, dulaglutide 1.5mg or placebo.
After a median follow up of 5.4 years, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke or death from cardiovascular causes occurred in 12.0% of the participants taking dulaglutide compared to 13.4% in the placebo group. This represented a 12.0% reduced risk of composite cardiovascular outcomes in the dulaglutide group.
The researchers also found that the injection reduced weight, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, and was well-tolerated with high adherence.
Also, the broad inclusion criteria of the study suggested that dulaglutide might be effective for both primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention in a high proportion of people with T2DM.
The researchers said that the findings showed that the addition of dulaglutide to the medical regimen of people with T2DM and a broad range of glycaemic control reduced a composite of cardiovascular outcomes over a five-year period.
“Moreover, our results suggest that dulaglutide could be added to the management of people with diabetes and additional cardiovascular risk factors to reduce glucose concentrations, minimise hypoglycaemia, reduce weight and blood pressure, and reduce cardiovascular events.”
Dulaglutide is approved for glucose lowering and works by helping the pancreas release the right amount of insulin when blood sugar levels are high, slowing the emptying of the stomach after a meal, and reducing appetite and weight.