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The Role of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists in Type 2 Diabetes in Asia

Authors
  • Lu, Ju-Ming1
  • 1 Chinese PLA General Hospital, Department of Endocrinology, Beijing, China , Beijing (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Advances in Therapy
Publisher
Springer Healthcare
Publication Date
Mar 11, 2019
Volume
36
Issue
4
Pages
798–805
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12325-019-00914-9
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

The improvement of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) is an urgent need in Asia. East Asian T2D patients have distinct characteristics, including relatively low body weight, early impairment of islet beta cell function with reduced insulin secretion and a marked increase in postprandial blood glucose levels. Control of postprandial hyperglycemia and beta cell preservation are key elements of the therapeutic strategy for these patients. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) reduce HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose, and (in particular) postprandial glucose levels, and slow gastric emptying, while minimizing the risk of hypoglycemia and weight gain. Compared with long-acting GLP-1RAs, short-acting GLP-1RAs produce greater slowing of gastric emptying (which is a key factor driving the reduction of postprandial glycemia) and induce beta cell rest rather than promoting postprandial insulin secretion when used under physiological conditions. GLP-1RAs have greater efficacy in Asian than Caucasian patients. GLP-1RA add-on therapy provides clinically meaningful reductions in HbA1c and postprandial glucose in Asians with T2D inadequately controlled by oral antidiabetic drugs (OADs) or basal insulin ± OADs. Premixed insulin is often prescribed for T2D patients in China. A short-acting GLP-1RA plus basal insulin is an alternative to premixed insulin, resulting in better efficacy and a lower risk of hypoglycemia and weight gain. In conclusion, GLP-1RAs, especially short-acting GLP-1RAs, are a practical treatment option for East Asian patients with T2D inadequately controlled by OADs or basal insulin. Funding: Sanofi.

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