Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Receptor Agonists: A Medication for Obesity Management

Mohamad B. Taha, Tamer Yahya, Priyanka Satish, Rachel Laird, Arthur S. Agatston, Miguel Cainzos-Achirica, Kershaw V. Patel, Khurram Nasir

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose of Review: The burden of obesity worldwide is high and projected to rise. Obesity increases the risk of several cardiovascular diseases and cardiometabolic risk factors; hence, utilizing effective long-term therapies for obesity is of utmost importance. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) have emerged as effective therapies that achieve substantial weight loss and improve cardiometabolic risk. The purpose of this review is to discuss the role of GLP-1RAs in obesity management. Recent Findings: Two subcutaneous GLP-1RAs, liraglutide and semaglutide, have been evaluated in several clinical trials for weight loss. Liraglutide achieves a mean weight loss of 4–7 kg, and more than 50% of treated individuals achieve 5% or more weight loss. Semaglutide has a greater impact on weight loss, with a mean weight loss of 9–16 kg, and more than 50% of treated individuals achieve 10–15% or more weight loss. These results led to regulatory approval of these agents for weight loss in individuals with obesity, regardless of diabetes status. In addition to weight loss, the benefits of GLP-1RAs extend to other risk factors, such as glycemic control and blood pressure. Gastrointestinal symptoms are the most frequently encountered adverse events with incidences between 5 and 30%. Finally, the cost remains one of the most critical challenges that limit GLP-1RAs use. Summary: GLP-1RAs have robust weight loss benefits and are expected to have a critical role in the management of obesity in the coming years. Upcoming studies will evaluate the durability of weight loss achieved with GLP-1RAs and the impact on cardiovascular outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Atherosclerosis Reports
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists
  • Liraglutide
  • Obesity
  • Semaglutide
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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