HealthDay News — Liraglutide increases heart rate (HR) and reduces heart rate variability (HRV) in overweight patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (T2D) and stable coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published online October 19 in Diabetes Care.

Preman Kumarathurai, MD, from the Copenhagen University Hospital of Bispebjerg in Denmark, and colleagues administered liraglutide or placebo to a backbone therapy of metformin. As a measure of HRV, the standard deviation of beat-to-beat (SDNN) intervals was assessed by 24-hour Holter monitoring. The authors also assessed diurnal HRV and sympathovagal balance analyzed by root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD) in NN intervals and high frequency (HF) and low-frequency (LF) power. 

The researchers found that, compared with placebo, liraglutide decreased SDNN in 27 subjects; decreased RMSSD; and increased the mean, daytime, and nighttime HR. After adjustment for metabolic and HR changes, the decrease in SDNN remained significant. Liraglutide also correlated with a reduction in HF power, without affecting the LF/HF ratio.

“In overweight patients with CAD and newly diagnosed T2D, liraglutide increased HR and reduced HRV despite significant weight loss and improvement in metabolic parameters,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Novo Nordisk, which manufactures liraglutide and funded the study.

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