Published online Oct 15, 2016. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v7.i18.441
Peer-review started: February 14, 2016
First decision: March 23, 2016
Revised: July 28, 2016
Accepted: August 6, 2016
Article in press: August 10, 2016
Published online: October 15, 2016
Cardiovascular death is the leading cause of mortality for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The etiology of cardiovascular disease in diabetes may be divided into hyperglycemia per se and factors operating through components of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Hyperglycemia causes direct injury to vascular endothelium and possibly on cardiac myocytes. MetS is a cluster of risk factors like obesity, hyperglycemia, hypertension and dyslipidemia. The incidence of this syndrome is rising globally. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA) are a group of drugs, which address all components of this syndrome favorably. Experimental evidence suggests that they have favorable actions on myocardium as well. Several compounds belonging to GLP-1RA class are in market now and a large number awaiting their entry. Although, originally this class of drugs emerged as a treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus, more recent data generated revealed beneficial effects on multiple metabolic parameters. We have studied literature published between 2000 and 2016 to look into effects of GLP-1RA on components of MetS. Results from recently concluded clinical trials suggest that some of the molecules in this class may have favorable effects on cardiovascular outcome.
Core tip: The incidence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is on the rise globally. This will have a negative impact on cardiovascular outcome. Whereas most of the anti-hyperglycemic agents have neutral or negative effects on components of MetS, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists drugs favorably address all components of MetS. By doing so, they may have a cardio protective role. We have reviewed recent literature to give an updated account on the topic. Results from recently concluded clinical trials suggest that some of the molecules in this class may have favorable effects on cardiovascular outcome.