Objectives GLP-1 improves hyperglycemia, and it has been reported to have favorable effects on atherosclerosis. However, it has not been fully elucidated whether GLP-1 is able to improve endothelial function in patients with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, we investigated the efficacy of the GLP-1 analogue, liraglutide on endothelial function and glycemic metabolism compared with insulin glargine therapy. Materials and Methods In this multicenter, prospective randomized parallel-group comparison study, 31 diabetic outpatients (aged 60.3 ± 10.3 years with HbA1c levels of 8.6 ± 0.8%) with current metformin and/or sulfonylurea treatment were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive liraglutide or glargine therapy once daily for 14 weeks. Flow mediated dilation (FMD), a comprehensive panel of hemodynamic parameters (Task Force Monitor), and serum metabolic markers were assessed before and after the treatment period. Results A greater reduction (worsening) in %FMD was observed in the glargine group, although this change was not statistically different from the liraglutide group (liraglutide; 5.7 to 5.4%, glargine 6.7 to 5.7%). The augmentation index, C-peptide index, derivatives of reactive oxygen metabolites and BMI were significantly improved in the liraglutide group. Central systolic blood pressure and NT-proBNP also tended to be improved in the liraglutide-treated group, while improvements in HbA1c levels were similar between groups. Cardiac index, blood pressure and most other metabolic parameters were not different. Conclusions Regardless of glycemic improvement, early liraglutide therapy did not affect endothelial function but may provide favorable effects on beta-cell function and cardioprotection in type 2 diabetics without advanced atherosclerosis.
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