ESC: Semaglutide Beneficial for HFpEF Patients With Obesity

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Treatment with semaglutide led to larger reductions in symptoms and physical limitations, greater weight loss

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 29, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and obesity, semaglutide is associated with a larger reduction in symptoms and physical limitations, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2023, held from Aug. 25 to 28 in Amsterdam.

Mikhail N. Kosiborod, M.D., from Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, and colleagues randomly assigned 529 patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater to receive 52 weeks of once-weekly semaglutide (2.4 mg) or placebo to assess changes in symptoms, physical limitations, and body weight and examine other secondary outcomes.

The researchers found that the mean change in the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire clinical summary score (KCCQ-CSS) was 16.6 and 8.7 points with semaglutide and placebo, respectively, and the mean percentage change in body weight was –13.3 and –2.6 percent, respectively. The mean change in six-minute walk distance was 21.5 m and 1.2 m with semaglutide and placebo, respectively. Semaglutide produced more wins than placebo in the analysis of the hierarchical composite end point that included death, heart failure events, and differences in the change in KCCQ-CSS and six-minute walk distance (win ratio, 1.72). Mean change in C-reactive protein level was –43.5 percent with semaglutide and –7.3 percent with placebo (estimated treatment ratio, 0.61; P < 0.001). Serious adverse events were reported in 13.3 and 26.7 percent of participants in the semaglutide and placebo groups, respectively.

“This will likely have a significant impact on clinical practice, especially since there is a dearth of efficacious therapies in this vulnerable patient group,” Kosiborod said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry, including Novo Nordisk, which funded the study.

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