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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Endocrine Disorders 1/2015

The effects of treatment with liraglutide on atherothrombotic risk in obese young women with polycystic ovary syndrome and controls

BMC Endocrine Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2015
Hassan Kahal, Ahmed Aburima, Tamas Ungvari, Alan S Rigby, Anne M Coady, Rebecca V Vince, Ramzi A Ajjan, Eric S Kilpatrick, Khalid M Naseem, Stephen L Atkin
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

HK – contributed to study design, performed experiments, collected, analyzed, and interpreted data and wrote the manuscript; AA – contributed to the writing of the manuscript; TU – measured cIMT; ASR – contributed to statistical analysis; AMC – performed ultrasound scans; RVV performed experiments; RAJ – contributed to data interpretation and writing of manuscript; ESK, KMN and SLA – contributed to design of research, data interpretation and the writing of the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript. HK is the guarantor of this work and, as such, had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with obesity and increased cardiovascular (CV) risk markers. In this study our aim was to assess the effects of six months treatment with liraglutide 1.8 mg od on obesity, and CV risk markers, particularly platelet function, in young obese women with PCOS compared to controls of similar age and weight.


Carotid intima-media wall thickness (cIMT) was measured by B-mode ultrasonography, platelet function by flow cytometry, clot structure/lysis by turbidimetric assays and endothelial function by ELISA and post-ischaemic reactive hyperemia (RHI). Data presented as mean change (6-month – baseline) ± standard deviation.


Nineteen obese women with PCOS and 17 controls, of similar age and weight, were recruited; baseline atherothrombotic risk markers did not differ between the two groups. Twenty five (69.4%) participants completed the study (13 PCOS, 12 controls). At six months, weight was significantly reduced by 3.0 ± 4.2 and 3.8 ± 3.4 kg in the PCOS and control groups, respectively; with no significant difference between the two groups, P = 0.56. Similarly, HOMA-IR, triglyceride, hsCRP, urinary isoprostanes, serum endothelial adhesion markers (sP-selectin, sICAM and sVCAM), and clot lysis area were equally significantly reduced in both groups compared to baseline. Basal platelet P-selectin expression was significantly reduced at six months in controls −0.17 ± 0.26 but not PCOS −0.12 ± 0.28; between groups difference, 95% confidence interval = −0.14 – 0.26, P = 0.41. No significant changes were noted in cIMT or RHI.


Six months treatment with liraglutide (1.8 mg od) equally affected young obese women with PCOS and controls. In both groups, liraglutide treatment was associated with 3–4% weight loss and significant reduction in atherothrombosis markers including inflammation, endothelial function and clotting. Our data support the use of liraglutide as weight loss medication in simple obesity and suggest a potential beneficial effect on platelet function and atherothrombotic risk at 6 months of treatment.

Trial registration

Clinical trial reg. no. ISRCTN48560305. Date of registration 22/05/2012.
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