Once-Weekly Semaglutide Cuts BMI for Teens With Obesity

Greater reduction in BMI seen for semaglutide plus lifestyle intervention versus lifestyle intervention alone
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FRIDAY, Nov. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Once-weekly semaglutide plus lifestyle intervention results in a greater reduction in body mass index (BMI) than lifestyle intervention alone among obese adolescents, according to a study published online Nov. 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society (ObesityWeek), held from Nov. 1 to 4 in San Diego.

Daniel Weghuber, M.D., from Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, Austria, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving 201 adolescents aged 12 to <18 years with obesity or overweight and at least one weight-related coexisting condition. Participants were randomly assigned to receive once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide or placebo for 68 weeks plus lifestyle intervention in a 2:1 ratio; 180 participants completed treatment.

The researchers found that the mean change in BMI from baseline to week 68 was −16.1 and 0.6 percent with semaglutide and placebo, respectively. Overall, 73 and 18 percent of participants in the semaglutide and placebo groups, respectively, had weight loss of 5 percent or more at week 68 (estimated odds ratio, 14.0). Greater reductions in body weight and improvement with respect to cardiometabolic risk factors were seen with semaglutide versus placebo. Four percent and 0 percent of participants in the semaglutide and placebo groups, respectively, had cholelithiasis. A greater incidence of gastrointestinal events was seen with semaglutide versus placebo (62 versus 42 percent). Serious adverse events were reported in 11 and 9 percent of participants in the semaglutide and placebo groups, respectively.

"These findings are clinically relevant, given that BMI, triglycerides, and total cholesterol levels have all been established as childhood risk factors associated with subsequent cardiovascular events in adulthood," the authors write.

The study was funded by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of semaglutide.

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