An obesity drug given in weekly shots more than halves the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a historic review suggests.
Patients can inject themselves with semaglutide, which works by hijacking the brain to suppress appetite and reduce calorie intake.
Overweight and obese participants who received the regular doses saw their chance of suffering from the condition drop by up to 61 percent.
The drug has been approved for use in England after being shown to help patients lose an average of 15 percent of their body weight, equivalent to 2nd 7lb
The drug was approved for use in England after it was shown to help patients lose an average of 15 percent of their body weight, equivalent to 2nd 7 pounds.
About 4.5 million people live with type 2 diabetes in England, costing the NHS more than £10 billion a year.
Researchers conducted a new analysis of data from two previous trials of semaglutide to assess its impact on the condition.
Study leader Dr Timothy Garvey said the average weight loss of 15 percent was “enough to treat or prevent a wide range of obesity complications that impair health and quality of life.” He added that this effect is “a game changer in obesity medicine.”
In the first study, 1,961 overweight and obese patients received a weekly injection of 2.4 mg semaglutide or a placebo for 68 weeks.
In the second, an additional 803 overweight and obese participants received weekly injections of 2.4 mg of semaglutide for 20 weeks. Then, for the next 48 weeks, these patients remained on the drug or switched to a placebo. All participants were given advice on diet and exercise.
Overweight and obese participants who received the regular doses saw their chance of developing the condition drop by up to 61 percent
The researchers from the University of Alabama, USA, used a formula called cardiometabolic disease staging to predict the risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next decade. This calculation has been shown to be a very accurate measure of risk and takes into account gender, age, race, body mass index and blood pressure plus blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
The 10-year risk scores for participants who received semaglutide in the first trial fell by 61 percent from 18.2 percent at the start to 7.1 percent at week 68.
This compared with a 13 percent reduction in risk for those who received the placebo, from 17.8 percent at the start to 15.6 percent at week 68.
The results of the second study indicated that ongoing treatment was needed to maintain the decrease in the risk of type 2 diabetes. The findings will be presented next week to the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden.
n The adage says we should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. But the theory behind this — that we burn more calories after breakfast than dinner — is flawed, researchers found.
They put 30 overweight or obese people on two four-week diets — one that included 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 was burned, but a large breakfast increased a hormone that makes us feel full and can help control appetite.