Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
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Evaluating potential predictors of weight loss response to liraglutide in adolescents with obesity: A post hoc analysis of the randomized, placebo-controlled SCALE Teens trial.

Pediatric Obesity 2023 September
BACKGROUND: As childhood obesity prevalence increases, determining which patients respond to anti-obesity medications would strengthen personalized approaches to obesity treatment. In the SCALE Teens trial among pubertal adolescents with obesity (NCT02918279), liraglutide 3.0 mg (or maximum tolerated dose) significantly reduced body mass index (BMI) standard deviation score on average versus placebo. That said, liraglutide effects on BMI reduction varied greatly among adolescents, similar to adults.

OBJECTIVES: To identify post hoc characteristics predictive of achieving ≥5% and ≥10% BMI reductions at 56 weeks with liraglutide versus placebo in adolescents from the SCALE Teens trial.

METHODS: Logistic regression analysis was performed in 251 adolescents treated with liraglutide (n = 125) or placebo (n = 126) for 56 weeks. Baseline characteristics (selected a priori) included sex, race, ethnicity, age, Tanner (pubertal) stage, glycemic status (hyperglycemia [type 2 diabetes/prediabetes] vs. normoglycemia), obesity category (Class II/III vs. I), severity of depression symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), and weight variability (weight fluctuations over time). The effects of early responder status (≥4% BMI reduction at week 16) on week 56 response were assessed using descriptive statistics.

RESULTS: Baseline characteristics did not affect achievement of ≥5% and ≥10% BMI reductions at week 56 in adolescents treated with liraglutide. Further, there was no association between weight variability and BMI reduction. Early liraglutide responders appeared to have greater BMI and body weight reductions at week 56 compared with early non-responders.

CONCLUSIONS: This secondary analysis suggests that adolescents with obesity may experience significant BMI reductions after 56 weeks of liraglutide treatment, regardless of their sex, race, ethnicity, age, pubertal stage, glycemic status, obesity category, severity of depression symptoms, or weight variability. Early response may predict greater week 56 response.

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