Near-normalization of glycaemic control with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist treatment combined with exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes

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Aims: Exercise as well as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) treatment improves glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. We investigated the effects of exercise in combination with a GLP-1RA (liraglutide) or placebo for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Thirty-three overweight, dysregulated and sedentary patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly allocated to 16 weeks of exercise and liraglutide or exercise and placebo. Both groups had three supervised 60-minute training sessions per week including spinning and resistance training.

Results: HbA1c levels dropped by 2.0 ± 1.2% (mean ± standard deviation) (from 8.2 ± 1.4%) in the exercise plus liraglutide group vs 0.3 ± 0.9% (from 8.0 ± 1.2%) with exercise plus placebo (p < 0.001), and body weight was reduced more with liraglutide (-3.4 ± 2.9 vs -1.6 ± 2.3 kg, p < 0.001). Compared to baseline, similar reductions were seen in body fat (exercise plus liraglutide: -2.5 ± 1.4%, (p < 0.001); exercise plus placebo: -2.2 ± 1.9%, (p < 0.001)) and similar increases were observed in maximal oxygen uptake (exercise plus liraglutide: 0.5 ± 0.5 l O2 per min (p < 0.001); exercise plus placebo: 0.4 ± 0.4 l O2 per min (p = 0.002)). Greater reductions in fasting plasma glucose (-3.4 ± 2.3 vs -0.3 ± 2.6 mM, p < 0.001) and systolic blood pressure (-5.4 ± 7.4 vs -0.6 ± 11.1 mmHg, p < 0.01) were seen with exercise plus liraglutide vs exercise plus placebo. The two groups experienced similar increases in quality of life during the intervention.

Conclusions: In obese patients with type 2 diabetes, exercise combined with GLP-1RA treatment near-normalised HbA1c levels and caused a robust weight loss when compared to placebo. These results suggest that a combination of exercise and GLP-1RA treatment is effective in type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Exercise, GLP-1, GLP-1 receptor agonist, Glucagon-like peptide-1, Liraglutide, Randomized study, Type 2 diabetes

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