New therapies for obesity

Dimitris Papamargaritis, Carel W le Roux, Jens J Holst, Melanie J Davies

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Obesity is a chronic disease associated with serious complications and increased mortality. Weight loss (WL) through lifestyle changes results in modest WL long-term possibly due to compensatory biological adaptations (increased appetite and reduced energy expenditure) promoting weight gain. Bariatric surgery was until recently the only intervention that consistently resulted in ≥ 15% WL and maintenance. Our better understanding of the endocrine regulation of appetite has led to the development of new medications over the last decade for the treatment of obesity with main target the reduction of appetite. The efficacy of semaglutide 2.4 mg/week—the latest glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor analogue—on WL for people with obesity suggests that we are entering a new era in obesity pharmacotherapy where ≥15% WL is feasible. Moreover, the WL achieved with the dual agonist tirzepatide (GLP-1/glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) for people with type 2 diabetes and most recently also obesity, indicate that combining the GLP-1 with other gut hormones may lead to additional WL compared with GLP-1 receptor analogues alone and in the future, multi-agonist molecules may offer the potential to bridge further the efficacy gap between bariatric surgery and the currently available pharmacotherapies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbercvac176
JournalCardiovascular Research
Early online date30 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 30 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.


  • obesity
  • pharmacotherapy
  • semaglutide
  • liraglutide
  • bariatric surgery
  • tirzepatide


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