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Daily Dose: Semaglutide May Benefit 93 Million US Adults


A daily dose of clinical news on Patient Care you may have missed.

Daily Dose: Distinct Patterns of BP in Early Gestation Predict Hypertensive Disorders / Image Credit: ©New Africa/AdobeStock

Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.

Last week, we reported on a study published in Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy that estimated the US population eligibility for semaglutide 2.4 mg and the impact on obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events.

The study

To identify the US population eligible for treatment with the drug, researchers applied inclusion criteria from the semaglutide STEP 1 obesity management trial to data on US adults aged ≥18 years from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cycles from 2015 to 2018.

Of the 19 225 individuals in the NHANES from 2015-2018, the research team identified 3999 who matched STEP 1 trial eligibility criteria and comprised the sample for analysis. The sample was projected to represent 93.0 million US adults.

Based on treatment effects observed in the STEP 1 trial, investigators then estimated the proportion of adults in their projected sample of 93 million that would be expected to achieve similar results.

The findings

Investigators found that 86.4% could achieve ≥5% loss of body weight, 69.1% could achieve a reduction of ≥10%, and 50.5% could expect to achieve weight reduction of ≥15%. They calculated further that even if their estimates accounted for a placebo effect, 41.9 million persons would be expected to reach a weight reduction of ≥15% and 51.8 million reduction of ≥10%.

The researchers also observed that the overall prevalence of obesity in the US could be reduced by nearly half (46.1%), translating to 43 million fewer adults with obesity and many of those shifting to the category of overweight.

Using BMI-based Framingham CVD risk scores, 10-year risk before researchers applied semaglutide 2.4 mg treatment effects was 10.15% and reduced to 8.35% after they were applied. These values reflect an absolute risk reduction of 1.81% and relative risk reduction of 17.8%, percentages that translate to 1.50 million preventable CVD events over 10 years.

Authors' commentary

"Semaglutide treatment in eligible US adults may substantially reduce obesity prevalence and CVD events, which may dramatically impact associated healthcare costs."

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