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Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists and stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cardiovascular outcome trials.

BACKGROUND: In patients surviving stroke, approximately 15% and 60% exhibit concurrent diabetes mellitus and overweight/obesity, respectively, necessitating heightened secondary prevention efforts. Despite glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) demonstrating improved outcomes for those with diabetes mellitus or obesity, their underutilization persists among eligible individuals. This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the impact of GLP-1 RAs on stroke risk. The findings aim to optimize the implementation of this therapeutic strategy in patients surviving stroke with diabetes mellitus or obesity.

METHODS: Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, we systematically reviewed MEDLINE and Scopus until 15 November 2023. Eligible studies included randomized cardiovascular outcome trials (CVOTs) with individuals, with or without type 2 diabetes, randomized to either GLP-1 RA or placebo. The outcomes were total strokes, non-fatal strokes, and fatal strokes. Analyses were conducted using RevMan 5.4.1.

RESULTS: Among 1369 screened studies, 11 were eligible, encompassing 82,140 participants (34.6% women) with a cumulative follow-up of 247,596 person-years. In the GLP-1 RAs group, the stroke rate was significantly lower compared to placebo (RR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.77-0.93; NNT: 200), showing no heterogeneity or interaction with administration frequency (daily vs weekly). In addition, the GLP-1 RAs group exhibited a significantly lower rate of non-fatal strokes compared to placebo (RR: 0.87, 95% CI: 0.79-0.95; NNT: 250), with no heterogeneity or interaction based on administration frequency, route (oral vs subcutaneous), or diabetes presence.

CONCLUSION: In this meta-analysis of 11 CVOTs with 82,140 participants, GLP-1 RAs demonstrated a 16% relative reduction in stroke risk compared to placebo. This finding may increase implementation of GLP-1 RAs by stroke specialists in individuals with stroke and comorbid diabetes mellitus or obesity.

DATA ACCESS STATEMENT: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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