Weekly obesity vaccination cuts diabetes risk in half and can lead to enough weight loss to treat a range of conditions, research shows
- Overweight and obese participants saw the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes in half
- Patients will be able to self-inject the appetite-suppressing semaglutide
- The drug was approved for use in England after it was shown to help patients lose an average of 15% of their body weight, or 2st 7lb
An obesity drug given in weekly injections more than halves the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a landmark study has found.
Patients can inject themselves with semaglutide, which works by hijacking the brain to suppress appetite and reduce calorie intake.
Overweight and obese participants receiving the regular doses saw their odds of suffering from the disease drop by up to 61%.
The drug was approved for use in England after it was shown to help patients lose an average of 15% of their body weight, or 2st 7lb
The drug was approved for use in England after it was shown to help patients lose an average of 15% of their body weight, or 2 pounds.
Around 4.5million people live with type 2 diabetes in England, costing the NHS more than £10billion a year.
The researchers performed a new analysis of data from two previous trials of semaglutide to assess its impact on the disease.
Study leader Dr Timothy Garvey said an average weight loss of 15% was “sufficient to treat or prevent a wide range of complications of obesity that negatively affect the health and quality of life”. He added that this effect is “a game-changer in obesity medicine.”
In the first trial, 1,961 overweight and obese patients were injected with 2.4 mg of semaglutide or a placebo every week for 68 weeks.
In the second, another 803 overweight and obese participants received weekly injections of 2.4 mg of semaglutide for 20 weeks. Then these patients remained on treatment or switched to placebo for the next 48 weeks. All participants received advice on diet and exercise.
Overweight and obese participants receiving the regular doses saw their chances of developing the disease drop by up to 61%
Researchers at the University of Alabama in the US used a formula called cardiometabolic disease staging to predict the risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next decade. This calculation has proven to be a very accurate measure of risk and takes into account gender, age, race, body mass index and blood pressure, as well as blood sugar and cholesterol levels. .
Ten-year risk scores for participants receiving semaglutide in the first trial fell by 61%, from 18.2% at baseline to 7.1% at week 68.
This compares with a 13% drop in risk for those who received the placebo, from 17.8% at the start to 15.6% at week 68.
The results of the second trial indicated that sustained treatment was needed to maintain the lower risk of type 2 diabetes. The results will be presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden next week. .
n The adage tells us to lunch like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper. But the theory behind this – that we burn more calories after breakfast than dinner – is wrong, the researchers found.
They put 30 overweight or obese people on two four-week diets – one with a big breakfast and a small dinner while the other reversed the proportions.
The University of Aberdeen study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, found that a similar amount of calories were burned, but large breakfasts boost a hormone that makes us feel full and could help control appetite.