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      Glycosylated Hemoglobin as a Surrogate for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Cardiovascular Outcome Trials Comparing New Antidiabetic Drugs to Placebo


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          Background and Objectives: The value of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) as a surrogate marker for the prevention of cardiovascular outcomes on antidiabetic drugs is debated. The 2008 FDA guidance led to multiple large clinical trials to evaluate the effect of new antidiabetic drugs versus placebo on major adverse cardiac events (MACE). The aim of this study was to evaluate the relation between MACE and HbA1c decrease between antidiabetic drug and placebo across the spectrum of cardiovascular outcome trials (CVOT). Methods: In this systematic review, we included randomized controlled trials that compared an antidiabetic drug to placebo in addition to current standard of care with the primary intention of demonstrating cardiovascular safety. We investigated the relationship between MACE decrease on antidiabetic drug and HbA1c reduction on antidiabetic drug using the coefficient correlation. We also studied the effects of potential confounders on MACE decrease. Results: Fourteen eligible trials including 128,149 patients were included, 12,114 of whom experienced MACE. Mean achieved HbA1c absolute reductions on antidiabetic treatment versus placebo varied from 0.29 to 1%. The decrease of MACE on antidiabetic drug was significantly correlated with mean HbA1c reduction ( r = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.67–0.96, p < 0.001) and weight loss ( r = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.46–0.94, p < 0.001). In a bivariate model including weight loss, only HbA1c reduction remained significantly correlated with the decrease of MACE on antidiabetic drug ( p = 0.019). Conclusion: Across CVOT, the decrease in MACE incidence on various antidiabetic drugs is significantly correlated with HbA1c reduction. This meta-analysis supports HbA1c as an appropriate surrogate endpoint for cardiovascular events. Our analysis supports that changes in HbA1c should be taken into account while interpreting effects of new antidiabetic drugs on cardiovascular outcomes.

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          Effects of Once-Weekly Exenatide on Cardiovascular Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes.

          The cardiovascular effects of adding once-weekly treatment with exenatide to usual care in patients with type 2 diabetes are unknown.
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            Albiglutide and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Harmony Outcomes): a double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial

            Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists differ in chemical structure, duration of action, and in their effects on clinical outcomes. The cardiovascular effects of once-weekly albiglutide in type 2 diabetes are unknown. We aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of albiglutide in preventing cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke.
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              Meta-analysis: glycosylated hemoglobin and cardiovascular disease in diabetes mellitus.

              In persons with diabetes, chronic hyperglycemia (assessed by glycosylated hemoglobin level) is related to the development of microvascular disease; however, the relation of glycosylated hemoglobin to macrovascular disease is less clear. To conduct a meta-analysis of observational studies of the association between glycosylated hemoglobin and cardiovascular disease in diabetic persons. Search of the MEDLINE database by using Medical Subject Heading search terms and key words related to glycosylated hemoglobin, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Prospective cohort studies with data on glycosylated hemoglobin levels and incident cardiovascular disease. Relative risk estimates were derived or abstracted from each cohort study that met the inclusion criteria. Adjusted relative risk estimates for glycosylated hemoglobin (total glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1, or hemoglobin A1c levels) and cardiovascular disease events (coronary heart disease and stroke) were pooled by using random-effects models. Three studies involved persons with type 1 diabetes (n = 1688), and 10 studies involved persons with type 2 diabetes (n = 7435). The pooled relative risk for cardiovascular disease was 1.18; this represented a 1-percentage point increase in glycosylated hemoglobin level (95% CI, 1.10 to 1.26) in persons with type 2 diabetes. Results in persons with type 1 diabetes were similar but had a wider CI (pooled relative risk, 1.15 [CI, 0.92 to 1.43]). This review largely reflects the limitations of the literature. Important concerns were residual confounding, the possibility of publication bias, the small number of studies, and the heterogeneity of study results. Pending confirmation from large, ongoing clinical trials, this analysis shows that observational studies are consistent with limited clinical trial data and suggests that chronic hyperglycemia is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease in persons with diabetes.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                June 2020
                21 February 2020
                : 145
                : 6
                : 370-374
                aDepartment of Therapeutics, Marseille, France
                bDepartment of Cardiology, Hôpital de la Timone, Marseille, France
                cAix Marseille Univ, APHM, INSERM, IRD, SESSTIM, Sciences Economiques et Sociales de la Santé et Traitement de l’Information Médicale, Hop Timone, BioSTIC, Biostatistique et Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication, Marseille, France
                Author notes
                *Pierre Ambrosi, Department of Cardiology, Hôpital de la Timone, Rue Saint-Pierre, FR–13385 Marseille (France), pierre.ambrosi@ap-hm.fr
                506004 Cardiology 2020;145:370–374
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Pages: 5
                Cardiovascular Prevention: Systematic Review


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