Diabetes and obesity: therapeutic targeting and risk reduction - a complex interplay.

Niswender K
Diabetes Obes Metab. 2010 12 (4): 267-87

PMID: 20380648 · DOI:10.1111/j.1463-1326.2009.01175.x

Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of diabetes and predisposes individuals to hypertension and dyslipidaemia. Together these pathologies increase the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the major cause of morbidity and mortality in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Worsening trends in obesity and T2DM raise a serious conundrum, namely, how to control blood glucose, blood pressure, and lipids when many antidiabetic agents cause weight gain and thereby exacerbate other cardiovascular risk factors associated with T2DM. Further, evidence suggests that some established antihypertensive agents may worsen glucose intolerance. Many patients who are obese, hypertensive, and/or hyperlipidaemic fail to achieve blood pressure, lipid and glycaemic goals, and this failure may in part be explained by physician reluctance to utilize complex combination regimens for fear of off-target effects. Thus, a clear need exists for clinicians to understand the risks and benefits of different pharmacologic, and indeed non-pharmacologic, options in order to maximize treatment outcomes. While intensive lifestyle modification remains an elusive gold standard, newer diabetes targets, including the incretin axis, may offer greater cardiovascular risk reduction than other antidiabetes therapies, although definitive clinical trial data are needed. The glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists exenatide and liraglutide and the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors sitagliptin and vildagliptin effectively lower HbA1c; exenatide and liraglutide reduce weight and blood pressure and improve lipid profiles. Sitagliptin and vildagliptin are weight neutral but also appear to improve lipid profiles. Integration of incretin therapies into the therapeutic armamentarium is a promising approach to improving outcomes in T2DM, and perhaps even in reducing complications of T2DM, such as co-morbid hypertension and dyslipidaemia. Additional long-term studies, including CVD end-point studies, will be necessary to determine the appropriate places for incretin-based therapies in treatment algorithms.

MeSH Terms (11)

Antihypertensive Agents Cholesterol, HDL Coronary Artery Disease Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 Diabetic Angiopathies Humans Hypoglycemic Agents Lipoproteins, VLDL Obesity Risk Reduction Behavior Triglycerides

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