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Liraglutide Beneficial for Non-Diabetic Obese Adults

Medication results in greater weight loss than placebo or orlistat and minimizes pre-diabetes

FRIDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In non-diabetic obese patients, treatment with liraglutide may significantly reduce weight, blood pressure, and symptoms of pre-diabetes, according to a study published online Oct. 23 in The Lancet.

Arne Astrup, M.D., of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues randomly assigned 564 patients to receive one of four liraglutide doses (1.2, 1.8, 2.4, or 3.0 mg) or placebo three times per day, or orlistat (120 mg) three times per day.

After 20 weeks, the researchers found that the four doses of liraglutide were associated with mean weight losses of 4.8, 5.5, 6.3, and 7.2 kg, respectively, while placebo and orlistat were associated with mean weight losses of 2.8 and 4.1 kg, respectively. They also found that 76 percent of 3.0 mg liraglutide patients lost more than 5 percent of body weight compared to placebo and orlistat patients (30 and 44 percent, respectively), that all doses of liraglutide were associated with reduced blood pressure, and that the 1.8 to 3 mg doses were associated with an 84 t to 96 percent reduction in the prevalence of pre-diabetes.

"Overall, the results of this study indicate the potential benefit of liraglutide, in conjunction with an energy-deficit diet, in the treatment of obesity and associated risk factors," the authors conclude. "Liraglutide offers a new mode of action for the treatment of obesity and improved efficacy compared with currently available therapies. Its effect on pre-diabetes suggests that it might be important for treating obese pre-diabetic individuals."

The study was supported by Novo Nordisk; several authors reported financial relationships with Novo Nordisk and other pharmaceutical companies.

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