(HealthDay News) – For patients at high risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD), liraglutide in addition to calorie restriction is associated with more weight loss and improvements in insulin resistance, glucose tolerance, and some CVD risk factors, according to a study published online July 8 in Diabetes Care.

Sun H. Kim, MD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues randomized 68 older individuals (mean age, 58 years) with overweight/obesity and prediabetes to receive liraglutide (35 patients) or placebo (33 patients) for 14 weeks. Participants were advised to lower calorie intake by 500kcal/day. Measurement of the steady-state plasma glucose (SSPG) concentration during the insulin suppression test was used to quantify peripheral insulin resistance; inflammatory markers and traditional CVD risk factors were also evaluated.

Eleven individuals assigned to liraglutide and six assigned to placebo discontinued the study. The researchers found that weight loss was significantly higher for those who continued to use liraglutide (6.8kg) vs. placebo (3.3kg). There were also significant improvements in SSPG concentration and significantly greater lowering of systolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, and triglyceride concentration among liraglutide-treated subjects. Pulse increased significantly after liraglutide treatment, but inflammatory markers were similar in the two groups.

“The addition of liraglutide to calorie restriction significantly augmented weight loss and improved insulin resistance, systolic blood pressure, glucose, and triglyceride concentration in this population at high risk for development of T2DM and CVD,” the authors write.

Liraglutide and matching placebo were provided by Novo Nordisk.

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