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J Am Soc Hypertens. 2012 May-Jun;6(3):163-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2012.02.003. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

Cardiovascular effects of antidiabetic agents: focus on blood pressure effects of incretin-based therapies.

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Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232-2358, USA.


Hyperglycemia is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, results of large clinical trials suggest that tight glucose control does not reduce the risk of macrovascular cardiovascular events in type 2 diabetes mellitus and may cause harm. This may reflect the adverse consequences of increased hypoglycemia or the adverse effects of many antidiabetic agents on weight gain. The consequences of intensive therapy may also depend on the mechanism of the antidiabetic agent(s) used to achieve tight control. Metformin, an antidiabetic agent that reduces weight and activates AMP-activated protein kinase, reduces risk of cardiovascular events in overweight diabetics. In contrast, the thiazolidinedione rosiglitazone increases cardiovascular risk. Sulfonylureas may increase the risk of cardiovascular events through effects on the SUR1 of the cardiac K(ATP) channel. Stable analogues of glucagon-like peptide-1 reduce body weight and blood pressure, and have favorable effects on ischemia following reperfusion in animal models. The dipeptidyl peptidase IV inhibitors prevent the breakdown of glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, but also decrease the degradation of several vasoactive peptides. Dipeptidyl peptidase IV inhibitors have favorable effects in animal models of ischemia/reperfusion. They have been reported both to decrease and to increase blood pressure. Clinical trials will address the effect of the incretin-based agents on macrovascular cardiovascular events.

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