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Weight loss drug slashes Type 2 diabetes risk

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Patients taking a new anti-obesity drug are at a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (T2D), a new study shows. 

Semaglutide is designed to treat overweight and obesity. The medication is self-administered via an injection once per week and was approved by the FDA in 2021. Research shows semaglutide–when combined with a healthy lifestyle–can result in a 15% weight reduction.  

To determine the effect it had on T2D risk, scientists at the University of Alabama studied 1,961 overweight or obese patients by dividing them into two groups. The first group received 2.4mg weekly injections of semaglutide. The second group took a placebo. 

After five months, researchers found the group taking semaglutide reduced their future risk of T2D by 61%. The control group saw a 13% reduction in risk. 

“Given the rising rates of obesity and diabetes, semaglutide could be used effectively to reduce the burden of these chronic diseases,” said Dr. W. Timothy Garvey, study author of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The research is being presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden.