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An overview of GLP-1 agonists and recent cardiovascular outcomes trials
  1. Kelsey H Sheahan1,
  2. Elizabeth A Wahlberg2,
  3. Matthew P Gilbert1
  1. 1 Endocrinology, University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  2. 2 Internal Medicine, University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kelsey H Sheahan, Endocrinology, University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, VT 05401, USA; kelsey.sheahan{at}


Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) are emerging as an important therapy to consider for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) given this class of treatment’s ability to reduce glycated haemoglobin and their associated weight loss and low risk for hypoglycaemia. Additionally, seven cardiovascular outcomes trials (CVOTs) have been performed in the past 4 years using lixisenatide, liraglutide, semaglutide, exenatide, albiglutide, dulaglutide and oral semaglutide. All have found non-inferiority for cardiovascular outcomes, with many finding superiority of these drugs. These findings have transformed our guidelines on pharmacological treatment of T2D. This review article will discuss GLP-1 RA therapy, review the seven CVOTs reported to date and discuss the implications on current guidelines and therapies going forward.

  • general diabetes
  • adult cardiology
  • coronary heart disease
  • clinical pharmacology

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  • Contributors KHS planned, wrote and edited the review. EAW wrote the review. MPG planned and edited the review.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests MPG has worked as a consultant for Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, USA. KHS and EAW declare that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this article.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.