WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Liraglutide plus lifestyle therapy results in a significantly greater reduction in body mass index (BMI) standard-deviation score than placebo among adolescents with obesity, according to a study published online March 31 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the virtual meeting of The Endocrine Society, held from March 28 to 31.

Aaron S. Kelly, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial, which included a 56-week treatment period and a 26-week follow-up period. Adolescents with obesity and a poor response to lifestyle therapy alone were randomly assigned to receive either liraglutide (125 participants) or placebo (126 participants) once daily, in addition to lifestyle therapy.

The researchers found that with regard to the change from baseline in the BMI standard-deviation score at week 56, liraglutide was superior to placebo (estimated difference, −0.22). A reduction in BMI of at least 5 percent occurred in 43.3 and 18.7 percent of participants in the liraglutide and placebo groups, respectively; a reduction of at least 10 percent was observed in 26.1 and 8.1 percent, respectively. For BMI and for body weight, there was a greater reduction with liraglutide than placebo (estimated difference, −4.64 percentage points; estimated difference, −4.50 kg for absolute change and −5.01 percentage points for relative change).

“In adolescents with obesity, we need additional treatment options that we can use along with lifestyle therapy,” Kelly said in a statement.

The study was funded by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of liraglutide.

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