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Obesity & Weight Loss Drug Study

Weight Loss Drug Study Trial
Although obesity, especially abdominal obesity, is the commonest cause of health complications, doctors most often use drugs to treat the complications rather than the underlying condition. This situation can be attributed to several factors, including lack of recognition of obesity as an important causal factor, doctors' ignorance about the potential contribution of drugs to managing obesity, and a lack of evidence that weight loss drugs can help maintain a reduced body weight while improving the patient's health profile. A recent trial has now provided some good evidence of the long term effectiveness of a weight loss drug.

Weight Loss Drug Trial Aim
The recently published STORM (sibutramine trial of obesity reduction and maintenance) differs from previous weight loss trials. Its objective was not to show that sibutramine, a drug acting on the central nervous system and increasing energy expenditure, could induce significant weight loss beyond that achieved by a reduced calorie diet or placebo effect that already has been well documented. Rather, it aimed to test whether sibutramine therapy for an additional period of 18 months could prevent weight regain among obese patients who had achieved a weight loss of over 5% over six months with an initial dose of 10 mg/day.

Weight Loss Drug Study Trial - Weight Loss Maintenance
Of the 467 patients who lost 5% of their body weight in the first phase and who were then randomised to sibutramine or placebo for the second phase, 43% of the sibutramine treated patients maintained at least 80% of their weight loss compared with only 16% in the placebo group. Furthermore, significant changes in cardiovascular disease risk factors were noted, including reduced triglyceride concentrations, increased high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations, reduced cholesterol:HDL cholesterol ratio (an important index to predict the risk of coronary heart disease), reduced insulinaemia and C peptide levels, and decreased uric acid concentrations.

For conclusions, see Weight Loss Drug Trial

Source: bmj journals

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