Obesity drug can provide long-term 10% weight loss

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In a study from Weill Cornell Medicine, scientists found overweight and obese people maintained an average weight loss of 10.6% over 3 to 5 years with a program of lifestyle changes in combination with anti-obesity medications.

Weight loss of more than 10% provides strong health benefits.

In the study, researchers reviewed data from 428 patients at an academic weight management center.

All patients received counseling focused on a low-glycemic diet and exercise by the obesity medicine specialist during their office visits. Patients were also offered additional counseling with a registered dietitian.

Medical therapy included FDA-approved and off-label weight-loss medications.

The most common medications used were metformin, phentermine and topiramate. At the final visit, patients were taking an average of two medications for weight management.

The patients were followed for a median of 4.7 years. They lost and maintained an average weight loss of 10.6%, which was maintained with medical therapy and lifestyle interventions over 3 to 5 years.

The team says a 10% weight loss is clinically significant because it is associated with improvements in cardiovascular risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obstructive sleep apnea as well as improvements in mobility and overall quality of life.

Rates of obesity are approaching 40% in the United States.

Anti-obesity medications are an underutilized treatment option for obesity and can prevent obesity-related diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

This research supports the utility of anti-obesity medications in achieving long-term weight loss maintenance.

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The study was conducted by researcher Michael A. Weintraub et al and presented at ENDO 2022.

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