Liraglutide and insulin were the most effective of four common diabetes medications in keeping blood sugar levels (A1C) less than 7%, a common treatment target, according to findings from a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
Locally, the University of Cincinnati was one of several clinical study sites for the GRADE study (Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes), which enrolled 5,000 patients with type 2 diabetes. Approximately, 1,250 were randomly assigned to each of the four diabetes medications: sulfonylurea glimepiride, DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin, insulin glargine and GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide.
Glimepiride had a smaller effect and sitagliptin showed the lowest effect, resulting in the highest frequency of developing A1C levels greater than 7%. Insulin glargine was most effective in keeping A1C levels less than 7.5%, a secondary outcome of the study.
Results were presented at a virtual session of the Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association. Robert Cohen, MD, professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, spoke with WXIX-TV Fox 19 about the study and what it means for patients living with diabetes.