Objective: In both randomized, controlled trials and real-world studies, liraglutide (Victoza®) has demonstrated glycemic and body weight benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). To achieve long-term beneficial outcomes, persistence with treatment is important; however, this can be challenging with injectable drugs. In this study, we examined the association of long-term adherence to liraglutide and metabolic changes.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of patients with T2DM (≥18 years old) from Maccabi Healthcare Services, Israel, who initiated liraglutide from 2010-2015 and had HbA1c measurements at treatment initiation and after 24 months. Mean change in HbA1c and body weight from initiation to 24 months was compared between patients who received liraglutide regularly for at least 12 months (’continuers’) and those who discontinued liraglutide before 12 months (’discontinuers’). Patients who were treated with another GLP-1 receptor agonist, or who underwent bariatric surgery, were excluded. Adjustment for potential confounding factors (sex, age, years in diabetes registry, HbA1c, body mass index, and insulin use at treatment start) was performed using propensity score matching (1:1 [n=882 in each group]).
Results: Significant reductions in HbA1c were seen in continuers compared with discontinuers (0.80% vs. 0.32%, p<0.0001), despite more using insulin (70.2% vs. 59.0%, p<0.0001) and ≥3 oral antihyperglycemic drugs (20.6% vs. 6.2%, p<0.0001) among discontinuers (in the 3 months preceding the last measurement). Mean body weight reduction was higher in continuers than in discontinuers (3.57 kg vs. 1.25 kg; p<0.0001), but no statistically significant differences were observed in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (5.72 vs. 2.83 mg/dl [p=0.4717]) and triglycerides (10.37 vs. 6.89 mg/dl [p=0.7896]).
Conclusion: In a real-world setting, persistent use of liraglutide was associated with good glycemic and body weight control.
C. Melzer Cohen: None. G. Chodick: None. L.N. Husemoen: Employee; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. N. Rhee: Employee; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. V. Shalev: None. A. Karasik: Stock/Shareholder; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. Research Support; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. Advisory Panel; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S, AstraZeneca. Research Support; Self; AstraZeneca. Consultant; Self; Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH. Advisory Panel; Self; Merck & Co., Inc., GlucoMe.