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01.12.2014 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 1/2014

Prediction of response to GLP-1 receptor agonist therapy in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes

Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome > Ausgabe 1/2014
Kenjiro Imai, Tetsuro Tsujimoto, Atsushi Goto, Maki Goto, Miyako Kishimoto, Ritsuko Yamamoto-Honda, Hiroshi Noto, Hiroshi Kajio, Mitsuhiko Noda
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1758-5996-6-110) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

MN and AG have received a research grant from Novo Nordisk. MN has received speaker honoraria from Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk.

Authors’ contributions

KI conceptualized the idea for the study, collected the data, performed a literature review, and wrote the manuscript. TT, MK, and RYH participated in the design of the study, participated in the discussion, and was involved in drafting the manuscript. MG and AG were involved in performing the statistical analysis, participated in the discussion, and were involved in drafting the manuscript. HN and HK participated in the discussion. MN presented the initial concept and reviewed the manuscript. All the authors have read and approved the final manuscript.



Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists can maintain good glycemic control in some diabetic. Here we compared the clinical characteristics and parameters reflecting glucose metabolism at the time of the initiation of GLP-1 receptor agonist therapy between patients who responded well to therapy and those who did not.


The records of 43 patients with type 2 diabetes who started receiving GLP-1 receptor agonist therapy during hospitalization were retrospectively reviewed. Glucagon stimulation tests were performed, and patients were started on liraglutide or exenatide therapy. Preprandial blood glucose levels were measured on days 2 and 3 of GLP-1 receptor agonist therapy. We used the Cox proportional hazard model to compare clinical parameters between responders (HbA1c level <8% at more than 3 months after the initiation of treatment) and non-responders (HbA1c level ≥8% at more than 3 months after the initiation of treatment or a switch to insulin therapy at any time).


Twenty-six of the 43 patients were classified as non-responders. At baseline, mean HbA1c levels were 9.9% among responders and 9.7% among non-responders. Compared with treatment with only diet or metformin, the hazard ratio [HR] for non-response was 5.3 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.16-24.6, P = 0.03) for insulin therapy and 5.0 (95% CI: 1.13-22.16, P = 0.03) for sulfonylurea therapy. Compared with the lowest tertile, the HRs for non-response in the highest tertile were 3.1 (95% CI: 1.04-8.97, P = 0.04) for the mean preprandial blood glucose level on days 2 and 3 and 3.4 (95% CI: 1.05-11.01, P = 0.04) for the body mass index. The response was not significantly associated with the duration of diabetes or the glucagon stimulation test results. A receiver operating curve analysis showed that the mean preprandial blood glucose level had the highest area under the curve value (=0.72) for the prediction of non-responders.


In patients with poorly controlled diabetes, the response to GLP-1 receptor agonist therapy was significantly associated with the treatment used before the initiation of therapy, the body mass index, and the mean preprandial blood glucose level during the 2 days after the initiation of therapy.
Authors’ original file for figure 1
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