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AIM: The effect on body composition of liraglutide, a once-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue, as monotherapy or added to metformin was examined in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). METHODS: These were randomized, double-blind, parallel-group trials of 26 [Liraglutide Effect and Action in Diabetes-2 (LEAD-2)] and 52 weeks (LEAD-3). Patients with T2D, aged 18-80 years, body mass index (BMI) < or =40 kg/m(2) (LEAD-2), < or =45 kg/m(2) (LEAD-3) and HbA1c 7.0-11.0% were included. Patients were randomized to liraglutide 1.8, 1.2 or 0.6 mg/day, placebo or glimepiride 4 mg/day, all combined with metformin 1.5-2 g/day in LEAD-2 and to liraglutide 1.8, 1.2 or glimepiride 8 mg/day in LEAD-3. LEAD-2/3: total lean body tissue, fat tissue and fat percentage were measured. LEAD-2: adipose tissue area and hepatic steatosis were assessed. RESULTS: LEAD-2: fat percentage with liraglutide 1.2 and 1.8 mg/metformin was significantly reduced vs. glimepiride/metformin (p < 0.05) but not vs. placebo. Visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue areas were reduced from baseline in all liraglutide/metformin arms. Except with liraglutide 0.6 mg/metformin, reductions were significantly different vs. changes seen with glimepiride (p < 0.05) but not with placebo. Liver-to-spleen attenuation ratio increased with liraglutide 1.8 mg/metformin possibly indicating reduced hepatic steatosis. LEAD-3: reductions in fat mass and fat percentage with liraglutide monotherapy were significantly different vs. increases with glimepiride (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Liraglutide (monotherapy or added to metformin) significantly reduced fat mass and fat percentage vs. glimepiride in patients with T2D.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Obes Metab

Publication Date





1163 - 1172


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Body Composition, Body Weight, Delayed-Action Preparations, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Double-Blind Method, Female, Glucagon-Like Peptide 1, Glycated Hemoglobin A, Humans, Hypoglycemic Agents, Liraglutide, Male, Middle Aged, Sulfonylurea Compounds, Treatment Outcome, Weight Loss, Young Adult