Semaglutide Reduces Weight, Truncal Fat In Patients With MASLD


A poster presented at Digestive Disease Week showed that patients with MASLD taking semaglutide achieved significant weight loss while preserving skeletal muscle indices.

Semaglutide can help patients with metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) lose weight and truncal fat while preserving skeletal muscle over the course of a year, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2024, held May 18 to 21 in Washington, DC.1

Semaglutide Reduces Weight, Truncal Fat In Patients With MASLD / K KStock -

Semaglutide Reduces Weight, Truncal Fat In Patients With MASLD / K KStock -

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that is used to control blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, as well as to help with weight loss in adults and children with obesity or overweight.2 Previous research has shown that the drug can reduce weight and improve steatohepatitis in patients with MASLD, but there are concerns that patients in this population could experience loss of muscle mass due to the medication.

READ MORE: Reviewing Efficacy, Safety of Weight Loss Therapies in T1D

Investigators from Weill Cornell Medicine conducted a study to analyze longitudinal changes in body composition indices in MASLD patients taking semaglutide. The study cohort included 135 patients, of which 69 were currently taking semaglutide and 66 were not, who were seen in a multidisciplinary gastroenterology-based clinic between October 2019 and April 2023. For the study, measurements were taken at baseline, 6 months and 12 months.

Primary study outcomes included change in percent total body weight, skeletal muscle index, skeletal muscle mass in pounds, and truncal fat in pounds. Additionally, secondary outcomes included change in BMI, absolute weight in pounds, liver enzymes, and fibrosis and steatosis measurements per transient elastography.

Investigators found that, at 6 months, more patients taking semaglutide achieved 10% total body weight loss, reduction in truncal adiposity, as well as skeletal muscle index and skeletal muscle mass in pounds compared to the control group. Although reductions in skeletal muscle index and skeletal muscle mass in pounds was similar between the groups at 12 months, truncal adiposity differences remained significant.

Additionally, both cohorts had significant reductions in steatosis at both 6 and 12 months, but semaglutide was associated with a greater reduction in fibrosis at 12 months.

“This study demonstrates the ability of semaglutide to achieve significant weight and truncal fat reduction in patients with MASLD, with preservation of skeletal muscle indices over a 12-month period,” the authors concluded. “Additionally, semaglutide may also have a role in improving hepatic steatosis and fibrosis.”

Click here for more of our coverage from Digestive Disease Week 2024.

Pharmacy practice is always changing. Stay ahead of the curve: Sign up for our free Drug Topics newsletter and get the latest drug information, industry trends, and patient care tips, straight to your inbox.

1. Fogla R, Yao L, Liu Y, et al. Semaglutide use achieves weight loss and fat reduction with preservation of skeletal mass in patients with MASLD: a retrospective longitudinal study. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week 2024; May 18-21, 2024; Washington, DC.
2. Semaglutide Injection. Report. Medline Plus. April 20, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024.
Related Videos
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.