MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ken Fujioka M.D.
Director of the Center for Weight Management
Scripps Clinical Department of Endocrinology
La Jolla CA
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Obesity is an odd disease that has many causes (overeating, underactivity, the patient being placed on a medication that drives up weight and a whole lot of other causes that result in a higher weight) so trying to find the right treatment, in this case a weight loss medication, for a particular patient is not an easy task. If there is a way to find out if you’ve picked the right medication (a weight loss of at least 5%) then this can help you decide whether you should keep the patient on the medication or stop the medication.
There are two huge benefits to this:
1. Is that you find your responders (patients) that will go on to lose weight and do well and 2. When you stop the medication in the non-responders you eliminate any potential adverse events from the weight loss medication.
Thus this study was designed to find out if early weight loss can predict who will go on to lose a significant amount of weight on Liraglutide.
And yes those who lose weight go on to lose weight.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: The main finding was that if a patient loses 4% of their weight in the first 4 months of being on Liraglutide they will go on to lose a lot more weight at the end of a year. (3.1% vs 10.7%)
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: This will actually help guide the clinical practice of obesity medicine. As many older clinicians will tell you we did not know when to stop a weight loss medication and had no good science to guide us on the patient we call the “non-responder”. Now, with very good accuracy, if a patient does not lose 4% of their weight by 4 months then they should stop the medication but if they do lose 4 % they will go on to lose at least 5% and on average closer to 10%.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Actually no recommendations for future research as this type of analysis is now required for all the newer weight loss medications.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: 4% weight loss at 4 months is easy to remember and sounds kinda catchy but we looked at a lot of other weight loss percentages at different time points (3% at 3 months or 4% at 2 months, etc) but 4% at 4 months was clearly the best predictor and picked up those patient that start their weight loss a little slower but go on to lose and do well.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Fujioka, K., O’Neil, P. M., Davies, M., Greenway, F., C.W. Lau, D., Claudius, B., Skjøth, T. V., Bjørn Jensen, C. and P.H. Wilding, J. (2016), Early Weight Loss with Liraglutide 3.0 mg Predicts 1-Year Weight Loss and is Associated with Improvements in Clinical Markers. Obesity, 24: 2278–2288. doi: 10.1002/oby.21629
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