New findings from a post-hoc analysis of the LEADER cardiovascular (CV) outcomes trial were presented recently at the 77th annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The findings showed that treatment with liraglutide (Victoza) 1.8mg once daily, resulted in similar reductions in the risk of major CV events in adults with type 2 diabetes at high CV risk, regardless of whether or not they experienced an episode of severe hypoglycaemia during the trial.
For the overall LEADER population, regardless of treatment group, people who experienced a severe hypoglycaemic episode were at a significantly greater risk of major cardiovascular adverse events (CV death, non-fatal heart attack or non-fatal stroke), CV death or non-CV death. The risk of a CV event was far greater within 60 days of a severe hypoglycaemic episode occurring.
In the trial those treated with liraglutide experienced significantly fewer episodes of severe hypoglycaemia when compared to placebo, both in addition to standard of care.
These findings are significant as four million people are currently living with type 2 diabetes in the UK and while the risk of severe hypoglycaemia is considered relatively low in the first few years (7%), the risk increases to 25% later in the course of diabetes.
Professor Steve Bain, UK LEADER trial National Leader and Assistant Medical Director for Research & Development for ABM University Health Board and Clinical Lead for the Diabetes Research Unit, Wales says “We know that patients who experience severe hypoglycaemia are at an increased risk of CV complications. The sub-analysis findings are important as clinicians have another option to consider with Victoza, as a treatment that has the potential to reduce the incidence of severe hypoglycaemia and reduce the CV risk for those who do experience this complication. Having appropriate treatment options available is crucial as considering a patient’s profile in a broader sense, not just focusing on glycaemic control, is becoming much more of a focus in clinical practice and having the means to individualise care is a must.”