GLP-1s May Lower Risk of Acute Pancreatitis in Patients with T2D, Obesity

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Research presented at ENDO 2024 found that glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists had a lower acute pancreatitis recurrence risk than SGLT2i, DPP4i, and no medication.

Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1s) do not increase and may even lower the risk of acute pancreatitis recurrence in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity who have a history of pancreatitis, according to research presented at the Endocrine Society’s 2024 annual meeting, held June 1 to 4 in Boston, Massachusetts.1

GLP-1s May Lower Risk of Acute Pancreatitis in Patients with T2D, Obesity / K KStock - stock.adobe.com

GLP-1s May Lower Risk of Acute Pancreatitis in Patients with T2D, Obesity / K KStock - stock.adobe.com

GLP-1s, which include medications such as dulaglutide and semaglutide, help improve glycemic control in T2D by mimicking the actions of the glucagon-like peptide 1 hormone.2 While plenty of research over the past decade has proven the efficacy of GLP-1s, research has found that the medications might increase the risk for pancreatitis.3 However, the data on this association has been found to be conflicting.

READ MORE: GLP-1 Access Limited for Teens with T2D, Obesity

“This study provides critical insights that could change the treatment landscape for patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes, particularly those with a history of acute pancreatitis,” Mahmoud Nassar, MD, PhD, a Department of Medicine fellow in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the University at Buffalo, said in a release.1 “The possibility of using GLP-1 receptor agonists more broadly offers hope for better managing these conditions, improving patient outcomes and enhancing quality of life.”

Investigators from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo conducted a retrospective cohort study to evaluate the risk of acute pancreatitis recurrence associated with initiating GLP-1s in patients with a history of the condition. Data was gathered from TriNetX platform, which includes 106 healthcare organizations and 127 million patients across 15 countries. GLP-1s were compared to SGLT2i, DPP4i, and no medications on the recurrence of acute pancreatitis within 5 years of treatment initiation.

The study cohort included 2 matched groups: 3926 in each group for GLP-1s versus SGLT2i and 3324 patients in each group for GLP-1s versus DPP4i. The researchers used propensity score matching on age, gender, body mass index (BMI), cholelithiasis, tobacco use, serum triglyceride, and HbA1c levels to ensure comparability between cohorts.

Investigators found that, in the matched GLP-1 and SGLT2i cohort, the GLP-1 group showed an acute pancreatitis recurrence risk of 15.2% compared to 24% in the SGLT2i group. In the GLP-1 and DPP4i cohort, the GLP-1 group had an acute pancreatitis recurrence risk of 14.4%, compared to 23.3% in the DPP4i group. Additionally, in the GLP-1 and no medication group, the GLP-1 group had an acute pancreatitis recurrence risk of 14.5%, compared to 51.6% in the no medication group.

“Our research highlights the safety and the potential for GLP-1 receptor agonists to reduce the risk of acute pancreatitis recurrence in individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes, challenging previous concerns and offering new hope for effective disease management,” Nassar said in a release.1

Click here for more of our coverage from ENDO 2024.

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References
1. Nassar M, Abosheaishaa H, Chaudhuri A, et al. Assessing the Risk of Recurrence in Acute Pancreatitis Among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Initiating GLP-1 Receptor Agonists Therapy. Presented at: ENDO 2024; June 1-4, 2024; Boston, MA.
2. Castro MR. GLP-1 agonists: Diabetes drugs and weight loss. Report. Mayo Clinic. June 29, 2022. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/expert-answers/byetta/faq-20057955
3. Nachawi N, Rao PP, Makin V. The role of GLP-1 receptor agonists in managing type 2 diabetes. Cleve Clin J Med. 2022 Aug 1;89(8):457-464. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.89a.21110. Erratum in: Cleve Clin J Med. 2022 Oct 3;89(10):597. PMID: 35914933
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