A clinical trial of dulaglutide reported impressive results in cardiovascular events prevention among people with type 2 diabetes.

Individuals with diabetes have a two times higher risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, and around 40% develop kidney disease.

Dulaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 analog that increases levels of incretin. Incretin is a metabolic hormone that is released after a meal and stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin. In addition, it reduces stomach emptying and decreases the absorption of sugar to the bloodstream. Dulaglutide is given once a week via injection, and it is approved for use worldwide, including Canada.

Recently, researchers conducted a clinical trial with dulaglutide – the Researching Cardiovascular Events with a Weekly Incretin Diabetes (REWIND) trial. The results of the trial have been published in two papers, which describe the cardiovascular and kidney results.

The trial followed 9900 patients, from 24 countries, for more than five years. All participants had type 2 diabetes and were middle-aged or older. Around 46 percent of participants were women and more than two-thirds of all involved in the trial were free of cardiovascular disease.

Participants treated with dulaglutide had a 12% lower risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, compared to people taking a placebo (an inactive drug). The results were apparent in both genders regardless of previous cardiovascular disease. Moreover, the drug helped to reduce the development of kidney disease by 15%. Also, dulaglutide helped with weight loss, lowering of blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol reduction. The most common side effects were gastrointestinal, such as constipation and diarrhea (47%compared to placebo, 34%).

Written by Anna Otvodenko


Hertzel C Gerstein, Helen M Colhoun, Gilles R Dagenais, Rafael Diaz, Mark Lakshmanan, Prem Pais, MD et al. Dulaglutide and cardiovascular outcomes in type 2 diabetes (REWIND): a double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet. Published: June 09, 2019

EurekAlert!. (2019). Large international study finds diabetes drug cuts cardiovascular and kidney problems. [online] Available at: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-06/mu-lis060619.php [Accessed 10 Jun. 2019].

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