Diabetes drug can cut obesity in non-diabetics

The diabetes drug liraglutide could be used to treat obesity in non-diabetics and could also cut the risk of prediabetes, Danish research suggests.

The latest findings come as Diabetes UK warns that seven million people in the UK could be suffering from prediabetes.

The charity has developed a position statement calling for guidance to help diagnose and manage prediabetes.

The Danish study involved 564 patients, aged 18 to 65, with a BMI of 30 to 40. They received 1.2mg, 1.8mg, 2.4mg or 3.0mg of liraglutide or placebo once daily, or 120mg of orlistat three times a day orally.

All patients were asked to follow a calorie-restricted diet during the 20-week study, and to increase physical activity.

Levels of weight loss increased the higher the dose of liraglutide, with the 3.0mg dose causing a mean weight loss of 7.2kg. This compared with a weight loss of 4.1kg with orlistat and 2.8kg with placebo.

Prevalence of prediabetes also fell between 84 and 96 per cent with liraglutide treatment.

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