Participants in both trials received advice on diet and exercise.
“Given the rising rates of obesity and diabetes, semaglutide could be used effectively to reduce the burden of these chronic diseases.” — Dr. W. Timothy Garvey
The researchers used Cardiometabolic Disease Staging (CMDS) to predict the participants’ risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years.
CDMS has been previously shown to be a highly accurate measure of type 2 diabetes risk and is calculated using a formula that factors in a patient’s sex, age, race, BMI, and blood pressure, as well as blood glucose, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
In the STEP1 participants receiving semaglutide, 10-year risk scores for type 2 diabetes decreased by 61% (from 18.2% at week 0 to 7.1% at week 68).
This compares to a 13% reduction in risk score for those given the placebo (17.8% at week 0 to 15.6% at week 68).
Risk scores mirrored weight loss, which was 17%, on average, with semaglutide vs 3% with placebo.
At the start of the trial, risk scores were higher in the participants with pre-diabetes than in those with normal blood sugar levels. However, treatment with semaglutide reduced the risk by a similar amount in both groups.
In the STEP 4 participants, the largest decreases in risk scores were seen in the first 20 weeks (from 20.6% at week 0 to 11.4% at week 20). In those who continued receiving semaglutide, the risk score decreased further to 7.7% but, in those who were switched to placebo, it rose to 15.4%.
This indicates that sustained treatment with semaglutide is needed to maintain the reduction in type 2 diabetes risk.
Dr. Garvey says: “Semaglutide reduces the future risk of diabetes by over 60% in patients with obesity – this figure is similar whether a patient has prediabetes or normal blood sugar levels.
“Sustained treatment is required to maintain the benefit.
“Given the rising rates of obesity and diabetes, semaglutide could be used effectively to reduce the burden of these chronic diseases.”
Dr. Garvey has served as a site principal investigator for multi-centered clinical trials funded by Novo Nordisk. He’s also received financial compensation from Novo Nordisk for serving on advisory boards.
This press release is based on abstract 562 at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). The material has been peer-reviewed by the congress selection committee. There is no full paper at this stage.