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Weight Loss With Liraglutide Improves Sleep Apnea



sharma-obesity-sleepapnea1The GLP-1 analogue liraglutide (Saxenda), recently launched in North America for the treatment of obesity, has now also been shown to improve symptoms (apnea-hypopnea index – AHI) of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

This, according to a paper by Blackman and colleagues published in the International Journal of Obesity.

This 32-week randomized, double-blind trial was conducted in about 360 non-diabetic participants with obesity who had moderate (AHI 15-29.9 events/h) or severe (AHI ⩾30 events/h) OSA and were unwilling/unable to use continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP).

After 32 weeks, the mean reduction in AHI was greater with liraglutide (3.0 mg) than with placebo (-12.2 vs -6.1 events/h).

This improvement in sleep apnea was largely explained by the greater mean percentage weight loss compared with placebo (-5.7 vs -1.6%).

Additional findings included a greater reductions in HbA1c and systolic blood pressure in the participants treated with liraglutide versus placebo.

Liraglutide was generally well tolerated with no unexpected adverse effects.

Thus, it appears that in addition to weight loss, treatment with liraglutide 3.0 mg results in clinically meaningful improvements in the severity of obstructive sleep apnea, an important issue that affects both the cardiometabolic risk and quality of life of so many individuals living with obesity.

@DrSharma
Copenhage, DK

Disclaimer: I have received honoraria as a consultant and speaker for Novo Nordisk, the maker of liraglutide

3 Comments

  1. Hmm. I wonder how many people “tolerated” the Liraglutide daily shot because they were being paid to be in a trial. It makes me wonder whether given a choice of having their CPAP programmed to “report” their nightly use vs. taking a daily shot, would they figure out a way to tolerate the CPAP for money.

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  2. How is the coverage in Canada for Saxenda? I practice in the USA and we still have the obstacle of insurance coverage for such wt loss medications. I am under the impression that it may also be an issue depending in “employer” in various provinces in Canada?

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