Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists may have potential pleiotropic benefits in patients with cardiovascular disease, researchers reported in a study published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy

Pharmacists from Southwestern Oklahoma State University set out to evaluate literature on the use of GLP-1 receptor agonists in the treatment of cardiac disorders, specifically myocardial infarction and heart failure. Their search returned 18 studies exploring the use of GLP-1 receptor agonists in the treatment of cardiac disorders in patients with and without diabetes mellitus. 

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Eleven of the 18 total studies evaluated the impact of GLP-1 receptor agonists in myocardial infarction. The data showed a significant beneficial effect on various cardiac parameters, including favorable improvements in myocardial blood flow, left ventricular function, and myocardial infarction size. Seven studies evaluated the use of GLP-1 receptor agonists in the treatment of heart failure, of which three studies demonstrated significant improvements in left ventricular ejection fraction, cardiac index, and peak oxygen consumption. 

Based on the limited evidence, GLP-1 receptor agonists may be effective for the treatment of patients with cardiac disorders with or without diabetes mellitus. The findings suggest that this class of drugs may be cardioprotective post-myocardial infarction but not as effective in heart failure.

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