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Cardiovasc Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Feb 14;7(1):24-27. doi: 10.1097/XCE.0000000000000142. eCollection 2018 Mar.

Integrating cardioprotective glucose-lowering medications into clinical practice.

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Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, California, USA.


Patients with type 2 diabetes suffer from both microvascular and macrovascular complications. Optimal glycemic control is well known to reduce the microvascular complications of retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. However, despite having multiple classes of antidiabetes medications, we have not been able to favorably affect the cardiovascular (CV) complications of diabetes, which cause considerable morbidity and premature CV mortality in patients with diabetes. The recent publication of the EMPA-REG Outcome and the LEADER studies demonstrating favorable CV outcomes with empagliflozin and liraglutide have led to a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to approve an additional indication (besides glucose lowering) - to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and CV death with liraglutide, and to reduce the risk of CV death with empagliflozin in adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and established CV disease. This represents a paradigm shift in diabetes management and will have a major impact on diabetes treatment algorithms.


GLP-1 agonists; SGLT2 inhibitors; cardioprotective medications; empagliflozin; liraglutide

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