Obesity is a chronic disease that is associated with a sixfold increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A 5% reduction in weight can improve glycaemic control, with greater amounts of weight loss leading to further improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors and complications of obesity. While the health benefits of sustained weight reduction are clear, achieving long-term weight loss with lifestyle interventions alone is challenging due to biological processes that defend against an individual’s highest weight. Pharmacotherapies approved for the treatment of obesity, such as some glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), can help people achieve long-term weight loss when combined with lifestyle interventions by targeting the biological processes of appetite regulation.
Semaglutide 2.4 mg is a GLP-1 RA approved by the FDA and EMA for the treatment of obesity based on clinical trials showing average weight reductions of approximately 15% with the drug versus 2.5% with placebo, as well as good tolerability. In addition to its weight-lowering effects, new research presented at the 2022 annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) showed that the risk of T2DM is more than halved by weekly injections of semaglutide 2.4 mg. Commenting on the findings, Dr. W. Timothy Garvey, from the University of Alabama, who led the study, said the average weight loss seen with semaglutide 2.4 mg is closer to that usually observed with bariatric surgery, which is significant in terms of ameliorating obesity-related complications.
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