Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Receptor Agonists and Heart Failure: The Need for Further Evidence Generation and Practice Guidelines Optimization.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

With worsening epidemiological trends for both the incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and heart failure (HF) worldwide, it is critical to implement optimal prevention and treatment strategies for patients with these comorbidities, either alone or concomitantly. Several guidelines and consensus statements have recommended glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and sodium-glucose cotransporter type 2 inhibitors as add-ons to lifestyle interventions with or without metformin in those at high atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk. However, these recommendations are either silent about HF or fail to differentiate between the prevention of HF in those at risk versus the treatment of individuals with manifest HF. Furthermore, these documents do not differentiate among those with different HF phenotypes. This distinction, even though important, may not be critical for sodium-glucose cotransporter type 2 inhibitors in view of the consistent data for benefit for both atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease- and HF-related outcomes that have emerged from the regulatory-mandated cardiovascular outcome trials for all sodium-glucose cotransporter type 2 inhibitors and the recent DAPA-HF trial (Dapagliflozin in Patients with Heart Failure and Reduced Ejection Fraction)demonstrating the benefit of dapagliflozin on HF-related outcomes in patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction with or without T2DM. However, the distinction may be crucial for glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and other antihyperglycemic agents. Indeed, in several of the new statements, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists are suggested treatment not only for patients with T2DM and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, but also in those with manifest HF, despite a lack of evidence for the latter recommendation. Although glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists may be appropriate to use in patients at risk for HF, mechanistic insights and observations from randomized trials suggest no clear benefit on HF-related outcomes and even uncertainty regarding the safety in those with HF with reduced ejection fraction. Conversely, theoretical rationales suggest that these agents may benefit patients with HF with preserved ejection fraction. Considering that millions of patients with T2DM have HF, these concerns have public health implications that necessitate the thoughtful use of these therapies. Achieving this aim will require dedicated trials with these drugs in both patients who have HF with reduced ejection fraction and HF with preserved ejection fraction with T2DM to assess their efficacy, safety, and risk-benefit profile.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Khan, MS; Fonarow, GC; McGuire, DK; Hernandez, AF; Vaduganathan, M; Rosenstock, J; Handelsman, Y; Verma, S; Anker, SD; McMurray, JJV; Kosiborod, MN; Butler, J

Published Date

  • September 22, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 142 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1205 - 1218

PubMed ID

  • 32955939

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1524-4539

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.045888


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States