Glucagon-like Peptide 1 Receptor Agonists (GLP1-RA) has been associated with a reduction of major cardiovascular events (MACE) and mortality on the basis of the results of cardiovascular outcome trials (CVOT). Several meta-analyses on this issue have been recently published; however, they were all restricted to CVOT, with the exclusion of all studies designed for other endpoints; moreover, other cardiovascular endpoints, such as atrial fibrillation and heart failure have not been fully explored.
A Medline search for GLP-1 receptor agonists (exenatide, liraglutide, lixisenatide, albiglutide, dulaglutide, or semaglutide) was performed, collecting all randomized clinical trials with a duration ≥52 weeks, enrolling patients with type 2 diabetes, and comparing a GLP-1 receptor agonist with placebo or any other non-GLP-1 receptor agonist drug. We included 43 trials, enrolling 63,134 patients. A significant reduction of MACE (MH-OR 0.87 [0.83, 0.92]), all-cause mortality (MH-OR 0.89 [0.83, 0.96]), and a nonstatistical trend toward reduction of heart failure (MH-OR 0.93 [0.85, 1.01]) was observed - GLP1-RA did not increase the risk of atrial fibrillation (MH-OR 0.94 [0.84, 1.04]).
The present meta-analysis confirms the favorable effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists on major cardiovascular events, cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, stroke, and possibly myocardial infarction. Conversely, the effects on heart failure remain uncertain. Available data on atrial fibrillation seems to exclude any major safety issues in this respect.