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Semaglutide Has Lasting Benefit for Weight Loss

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Second study shows cardiovascular benefit for semaglutide, regardless of weight loss

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 21, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Semaglutide has a long-term beneficial impact on weight, as well as cardiovascular benefits, regardless of weight loss, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the European Congress on Obesity, hosted by the European Association for the Study of Obesity from May 12 to 15 in Venice, Italy. One of the studies was also published online May 13 in Nature Medicine.

Donna H. Ryan, M.D., from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and colleagues conducted a prespecified analysis involving 17,604 adults to examine the effects of semaglutide on weight and anthropometric outcomes, safety, and tolerability by baseline body mass index. The researchers found that weight loss continued over 65 weeks among patients treated with semaglutide and was sustained for up to four years. Compared with placebo, semaglutide was significantly associated with mean reduction in weight, waist circumference, and waist-to-height ratio at 208 weeks.

John Deanfield, from University College London, and colleagues reported a prespecified analysis of the relationship between weight measures and cardiovascular outcomes among 17,604 adults aged 45 years and older with body mass index ≥27 kg/m2. Participants were randomly assigned to semaglutide or placebo for a mean of 40 months. The researchers found that compared with placebo, semaglutide reduced the risk for major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), with no difference in the magnitude of benefit of semaglutide across baseline weight or anthropometric subgroups. The decline in MACE rates with semaglutide versus placebo was comparable for those who lost ≥5 percent, lost <5 percent, or gained weight.

“Our findings show that the magnitude of this treatment effect with semaglutide is independent of the amount of weight lost, suggesting that the drug has other actions which lower cardiovascular risk beyond reducing unhealthy body fat,” Deanfield said in a statement.

Several authors from the Ryan study disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text – Ryan

Abstract – Deanfield

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