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Beyond Weight Loss: the Emerging Role of Incretin-Based Treatments in Cardiometabolic HFpEF.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Incretin-based drugs are potent weight-lowering agents, emerging as potential breakthrough therapy for the treatment of obesity-related phenotype of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). In this review article, we will discuss the contribution of weight loss as part of the benefits of incretin-based medications in obese patients with HFpEF. Furthermore, we will describe the potential effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonists on the heart, particularly in relation to HFpEF pathophysiology.

RECENT FINDINGS: In the STEP-HFpEF trial, the GLP-1 receptor agonist semaglutide significantly improved quality of life outcomes in obese HFpEF patients. Whether the beneficial effects of semaglutide in obese patients with HFpEF are merely a consequence of body weight reduction is unclear. Considering the availability of other weight loss strategies (e.g., caloric restriction, exercise training, bariatric surgery) to be used in obese HFpEF patients, answering this question is crucial to provide tailored therapeutic options in these subjects.

SUMMARY: Incretin-based drugs may represent a milestone in the treatment of obesity in HFpEF. Elucidating the contribution of weight loss in the overall benefit observed with these drugs is critical in the management of obese HFpEF patients, considering that other weight-lowering strategies are available and might represent potential alternative options for these patients.

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