OBJECTIVE Reduced heart rate variability (HRV) and increased heart rate (HR) have been associated with cardiovascular mortality. Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) increase HR, and studies have suggested that they may reduce HRV. We examined the effect of the GLP-1 RA liraglutide on HRV and diurnal variation of HR in overweight patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (T2D) and stable coronary artery disease (CAD).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Liraglutide or placebo was administrated to a backbone therapy of metformin in this double-blind, placebo-controlled 12 + 12–week crossover study. SD of beat-to-beat (NN) intervals (SDNN) was assessed by 24-h Holter monitoring as a measure of HRV. Diurnal HR variation and sympathovagal balance analyzed by root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD) in NN intervals and high-frequency (HF) and low-frequency (LF) power were assessed.
RESULTS Compared with placebo, liraglutide decreased SDNN in 27 subjects (−33.9 ms; P < 0.001, paired analysis); decreased RMSSD (−0.3 log-ms; P = 0.025); and increased the mean HR (8.1 beats/min; P = 0.003), daytime HR (5.7; P = 0.083), and nighttime HR (6.3; P = 0.026). In a multivariable regression analysis, the decrease in SDNN remained significant after adjustment for metabolic and HR changes. Liraglutide reduced HF power (−0.7 log-ms2; P = 0.026) without any change in LF/HF ratio.
CONCLUSIONS In overweight patients with CAD and newly diagnosed T2D, liraglutide increased HR and reduced HRV despite significant weight loss and improvement in metabolic parameters. The increase in nightly heart rate in conjunction with a decrease in parameters of parasympathetic activity suggests that liraglutide may affect sympathovagal balance.
- Received July 22, 2016.
- Accepted September 30, 2016.
- © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.