Patients with type 2 diabetes who also have asthma benefit from an anti-diabetes medication, which is usually given to help the pancreas produce more insulin, which also improves asthma symptoms and can reduce lung inflammation and the airways.
These types of medicationGLP-1 receptor agonists are a new class of FDA-approved therapeutic products that are generally used in addition to metformin to control blood sugar or to induce weight loss in obese patients.
Researchers at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, used data from the electronic health record (EHR) of patients with asthma and type 2 diabetes who started treatment with GLP-1R agonists, finding lower and reduced rates of asthma exacerbations asthma symptoms compared to those who started other drugs for type 2 diabetes.
His findings were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
“We have really shown for the first time that this class of drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity may also have benefits for our asthma patients,” said lead author Katherine Cahill, MD, director doctor of Clinical Asthma Research in the Division of Allergy, Lung Medicine and Critical Care at VUMC.
“Within six months, type 2 patients with diabetes whoever received this form of medicine to improve blood sugar control also had better control of the disease and asthma symptoms compared to those who took alternative therapies, ”he said.
Cahill’s study was a retrospective, observational study, so definitive prospective studies, such as a clinical trial in patients with asthma, with and without comorbid type 2 diabetes, are required to confirm that these drugs provide benefits for asthma.
“For patients who have type 2 diabetes and asthma means some of their medications for type 2 diabetes can help control their asthma,” Cahill said.
“For patients who have asthma, but who may not have type 2 diabetes, it means there may be a new class of medications that can be used for treatment.”
In preclinical models finished in VUMC, GLP-1R agonists have been shown to reduce allergic airway inflammation and virus-induced airway inflammation. To translate these findings into human disease, Cahill and colleagues took advantage of the widespread use of GLP-1R agonists for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and the clinical information available in EHR data.
Colleagues from VUMC, Shinji Toki, Ph.D., Melissa Bloodworth, MD, Ph.D., Stokes Peebles, MD, and Kevin Niswender, MD, Ph.D., had previously shown in preclinical models of asthma that this class of medications reduces inflammation in the lung as well as the lung’s response to certain challenges such as allergies and viruses. Other early preclinical data also suggest that it is possible that this therapy may have benefits in the respiratory tract for other respiratory diseases.
“In our study we found that patients with asthma received benefits from this drug because they had improved asthma control, therefore fewer asthma symptoms and fewer acute outbreaks, or what we call exacerbations, of their asthma. “Cahill said.
“Our study showed that patients reported better respiratory symptoms and fewer reports of shortness of breath and cough.”
A member of the class of drugs that induces early satiety, which leads to weight loss, is already approved for the treatment of obesity. Future studies will investigate whether the drug could improve outcomes in patients with asthma and obesity.
Colleagues from Cahill and VUMC have received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to begin a randomized, controlled clinical trial of GLP-1R agonists in asthma over the next year.
“Our next step is to take this drug and study it in asthma patients. Here at Vanderbilt, we will be examining patients who are obese and have asthma and assess whether or not the drug really improves their asthma.” Cahill said.
Dinah Foer et al, Asthma exacerbations in patients with type 2 diabetes and asthma in glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (2020). DOI: 10.1164 / rccm.202004-0993OC
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Citation: Medication for type 2 diabetes is shown to benefit patients with asthma (2021, May 21), recovered on May 22, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-diabetes-medication- shown-benefit-asthma.html
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