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Semaglutide leads to significant weight loss in Type 2 diabetes patients

Written by | 17 May 2021 | Diabetes & Endocrinology

Article by Bruce Sylvester.

Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and treated with weekly semaglutide have achieved an average weight loss of almost 10kg, researchers reported on March 2, 2021  in The Lancet.

Put in other terms, two-thirds of subjects treated with weekly injections of a 2.4mg semaglutide lost at least 5% of their body weight and achieved significant improvement in blood glucose control.

“These results are exciting and represent a new era in weight management in people with type 2 diabetes — they mark a real paradigm shift in our ability to treat obesity, the results bring us closer to what we see with more invasive surgery,” said lead investigator Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester (UK) and the Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre.

“It is also really encouraging that along with the weight loss we saw real improvements in general health, with significant improvement in physical functioning scores, blood pressure and blood glucose control,” Davies added.

For this international study, the researchers enrolled overweight/obese subjects with type 2 diabetes who had been unable to achieve adequate sufficient blood sugar control through diet and exercise, or through treatment with metformin and other glucose lowering medicines.

The researchers randomized 1210 subjects to weekly semaglutide 2.4 mg (n=404), semaglutide 1.0 mg (n=403), or placebo (n=403).

Change in mean bodyweight from baseline to week 68 was −9·6% with semaglutide 2.4 mg daily vs −3·4% with placebo. Therefore, the treatment difference for semaglutide 2.4 mg versus placebo was −6·2 percentage points, a statistically significant difference (p<0.0001).

Of those subjects completing the 68 weeks of the study, more on semaglutide 2.4 mg than on placebo achieved weight reductions of at least 5% — 267 (68.8%) of 388 vs 107 (28.5%) of 376. The difference between the groups was statistically significant (p<0.0001).

The authors concluded, “In adults with overweight or obesity, and type 2 diabetes, semaglutide 2.4 mg once a week achieved a superior and clinically meaningful decrease in bodyweight compared with placebo.”

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