The GLP-1 agonist semaglutide is the latest diabetes therapy to show cardiovascular benefit in a CV outcomes trial, demonstrating a reduction in the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events compared with usual care.
SUSTAIN 6 included 3,297 patients with type 2 diabetes on a standard diabetes care regimen randomized to once-weekly semaglutide or placebo for 2.1 years. Among those who received semaglutide, the rate of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke was lowered to 6.6% compared with 8.9% in the placebo group receiving usual care. Researcher Dr. Steven Marso of HCA Midwest Health Research Medical Center in Kansas City, MO, commented that this lower risk was largely driven by a significant (39%) decrease in the rate of nonfatal stroke and a nonsignificant (26%) decrease in nonfatal myocardial infarction. No significant difference in the rate of cardiovascular death was observed.
The researchers have speculated the cardiovascular impact of semaglutide may be due to delaying or otherwise modifying the progression of atherosclerosis.
Further insight and expert perspective on this and other CV outcomes trials, including LEADER and EMPA-REG, will be provided at the upcoming 11th Annual Cardiometabolic Health Congress, taking place this October 5-8, 2016 in Boston, MA.