ADA: Semaglutide Similarly Effective in Men, Women With Obesity-Linked Heart Failure

Semaglutide reduces body weight to a greater extent in females; yields similar improvements in heart failure-related symptoms in both sexes
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, June 26, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with obesity-related heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), semaglutide reduces body weight to a greater extent in women but yields similar improvements in heart failure-related symptoms in men and women, according to a study published online June 23 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, held from June 21 to 24 in Orlando, Florida.

Subodh Verma, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues examined the baseline characteristics and treatment effect of semaglutide by sex across the STEP-HFpEF program. Patients with heart failure, left ventricular ejection fraction ≥45 percent, body mass index ≥30 kg/m2, and Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire Clinical Summary Score (KCCQ-CSS) <90 points were randomly assigned to receive once-weekly semaglutide 2.4 mg or matched placebo for 52 weeks. Data were included for 1,145 patients (49.7 percent female).

The researchers found that regardless of sex, semaglutide improved KCCQ-CSS (mean difference in women and men, +7.6 and +7.5, respectively), but reduced body weight more in women than men (mean difference, −9.6 and −7.2 percent, respectively). In both sexes, semaglutide improved six-minute walk distance (6MWD) and the hierarchical composite end point comprising all-cause death, heart failure events, changes in KCCQ-CSS, and 6MWD. Compared with placebo, there were fewer serious adverse events with semaglutide.

"Despite greater reductions in weight in females than males, semaglutide produced similar, clinically meaningful improvements in heart failure-related symptoms, physical limitations, and exercise function, along with reductions in inflammation and natriuretic peptides, regardless of sex," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to biopharmaceutical companies, including Novo Nordisk, which manufactures semaglutide and funded the study.

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