A new trial of tirzepatide focused on people who are obese but didn’t have diabetes. It found they lost even more weight than what was seen in the diabetes studies that led to the drug’s approval for this indication in May. Photo by Tiago Zr/Shutterstock
A newly approved drug for Type 2 diabetes may be a game-changer for treating obesity, too.
Given as a shot once a week, tirzepatide works on two naturally occurring hormones that help tell the brain that you are full. It may be as effective as weight-loss surgery.
“About nine of 10 people in the study lost weight, and the average weight loss for the highest dose was 22.5%, which is something we have never seen before,” said study co-author Dr. Ania Jastreboff. She is an associate professor at Yale University School of Medicine and co-director of the Yale Center for Weight Management, in New Haven, Conn.
“These results are an important step forward in potentially expanding effective therapeutic options for people with obesity,” Jastreboff said.
The new trial focused on people who are obese but didn’t have diabetes. It found they lost even more weight than what was seen in the diabetes studies that led to the drug’s approval for this indication in May.
Drug maker Eli Lilly sponsored the new study.
For the 72-week study, more than 2,500 overweight or obese adults received either 5, 10 or 15 mg of the new drug or placebo each week. The average weight reduction for the highest dose was about 52 pounds, the study showed. People who took the 10 mg dose lost about 49 pounds, on average, and those in the 5 mg group shed about 35 pounds. By contrast, people given a placebo injection lost slightly more than 5 pounds. Study volunteers were also counseled on healthy eating and exercise.
Nearly everyone on the drug saw an improvement in blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the study found.
The most common side effects were nausea, diarrhea and constipation, and they were generally mild to moderate, Jastreboff said.
Study participants kept the weight off for the full 72-week study period. “Obesity is a chronic treatable disease. We should treat obesity as we treat any chronic disease — with effective and safe approaches which target underlying disease mechanisms, and these results underscore that tirzepatide may be doing just that,” she said.
People may need to stay on the medication indefinitely. “If we think of obesity as a chronic disease, then why would we treat a chronic disease for only 72 weeks?” Jastreboff said.
Individuals who developed prediabetes were not included in the new analysis. They will be followed for two years to see how they fare on the new drug. People with prediabetes have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but do not have full-blown diabetes yet.
The study was presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, in New Orleans, and simultaneously published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“This study is a big deal,” said Dr. Scott Kahan, director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, D.C. “Tirzepatide is the first medication of a new class of medications that will likely become the preeminent medications for both diabetes and obesity treatment,” said Kahan, who has no ties to the study.
“We currently have quite good medications available for weight management — but the magnitude of weight loss far exceeds all other medications,” he said. Moreover, it “approaches the amount of weight loss with the most common bariatric surgical procedures,” he added.
Also, nearly everyone treated with the medication lost at least a modest amount of weight, if not much more, Kahan said.
So how does this new shot compare to other prescription weight-loss drugs? Kahan said that it looks like a winner.
An obesity treatment approved last year called semaglutide (Wegovy) produces about 15% weight loss. It targets human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), but the new drug targets GLP-1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), which may be why it appears even more effective.
“Other medications approved in the last decade lead to an average of between 10% and nearly 15% weight loss. The most frequently prescribed weight loss drug in the United States — phentermine (Adipex-P, Lomaira), which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1959 — typically leads to just 5% to 7% weight loss,” Kahan said.
If and when this drug is approved for weight loss, cost will be a consideration, he said.
For diabetes, it is estimated to cost around $800 per month, but it will likely be covered by insurance. “Weight medications are traditionally different because they tend not to be covered by insurance so people have to pay out of pocket,” Kahan noted. It’s too early to predict the cost of tirzepatide for obesity.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about medications that treat obesity.
Copyright © 2022 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
‘Romney Republican’ now GOP primary attack…
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mitt Romney isn’t up for reelection this year. But Trump-aligned Republicans hostile toward the Utah senator have made his name a recurring theme in this year’s primaries, using him as a foil and derisively branding their rivals “Mitt Romney Republicans.”
Republicans have used the concept to frame their primary opponents as enemies of the Trump-era GOP in southeast Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The anti-tax group Club For Growth, among the most active super PACs in this year’s primaries, used “Mitt Romney Republican” as the central premise of an attack ad in North Carolina’s Senate primary.
But nowhere are references to Romney Republicanism as common as they are in Utah. Despite his popularity with many residents here, candidates are repeatedly deploying “Mitt Romney Republican” as a campaign trail attack in the lead-up to Tuesday’s Republican primary.
“There are two different wings in the Republican Party,” Chris Herrod, a former state lawmaker running in suburban Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, said in a debate last month.
“If you’re more aligned with Mitt Romney and Spencer Cox,” he added, referring to Utah’s governor, “then I’m probably not your guy.”
The fact that his brand has become potent attack fodder reflect how singular Romney’s position is in U.S. politics: He’s the only senator with the nationwide name recognition that comes from running for president and the only Republican who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump twice.
“It’s kind of a puzzlement, actually,” said Becky Edwards, an anti-Trump Republican running in Utah’s Senate primary.
As one of the most famous members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Romney is revered by many in Utah, where the church is a dominant presence in politics and culture. He won praise for turning around Salt Lake City’s 2002 Winter Olympics after a bribery scandal. After moving to Utah full-time more than a decade ago, he breezed to victory in the state’s Senate race in 2018. He did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
Herrod, who went to Las Vegas to campaign for Romney in 2012, said in an interview that referring to Romney was effective shorthand — a way to tell voters about his own belief system as well as that of incumbent Republican Rep. John Curtis. Herrod has attacked Curtis for his positions on energy policy and for founding Congress’ Conservative Climate Caucus.
“In the midst of a campaign, it’s kind of tough to draw a line. I just put it in terms I thought people would understand,” Herrod said.
The Curtis campaign said the congressman was more focused on legislation and passing bills than branding. “Congressman Curtis doesn’t spend his time labeling himself or other Republicans,” his campaign manager, Adrielle Herring, said in a statement.
Much like Herrod, Andrew Badger, a candidate running in northern Utah’s 1st Congressional District, frames his primary campaign as a “tug of war” between two competing factions within the Republican Party. He describes one as the moderate, compromise-friendly wing embodied by Romney and the other as the conservative wing embodied by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a frequent guest of FOX News who is often the Senate’s lone “no” vote.
Both Badger and Herrod acknowledge attacking Romney may turn off some voters, four years after he easily defeated a right-wing state lawmaker in Utah’s Republican primary and a Democrat in the general election. But they question the durability of his support given how the last six years have broadly transformed Republican politics.
“There’s a lot more frustration, and it’s only building. I don’t think he would win in a vote today, certainly not in a Republican primary,” Badger said.
Badger in his campaign has focused on simmering outrage stemming from the 2020 election and anger over coronavirus mandates and how race, gender and sexuality are taught in K-12 schools. He has attempted to draw a direct line between Romney and his opponent, incumbent Rep. Blake Moore, by attacking Moore for being one of 35 House Republicans to vote to create an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection.
In a district where support for Trump remains strong, he’s likened Moore’s vote to Romney’s two votes in favor of impeachment.
“These folks like Mitt Romney and Blake Moore, they always cave to the left when the pressure gets turned on them,” Badger said. “We’re not going to compromise for the sake of compromise.”
Moore did not vote for impeachment. After the Senate scuttled the commission, Moore, along with all but two House Republicans, voted against the creation of the Jan. 6 select committee that ultimately convened.
In response to Moore being labeled a “Mitt Romney Republican,” Caroline Tucker, the congressman’s campaign spokesperson, said he could be best described a “Big Tent Republican” who doesn’t think the process of lawmaking requires abandoning his conservative principles.
Jason Perry, director of University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, said the label “Mitt Romney Republican” may appeal to some Republican primary voters, but given Romney’s popularity, it likely won’t work in Utah, he said.
“They’re appealing to a segment of the Republican Party but probably do not have the numbers on that far-right side to be successful,” Perry said.
Pro-life is not just opposing abortion, Vatican says after U.S. ruling
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June 25 (Reuters) – Anti-abortion activists should be concerned with other issues that can threaten life, such as easy access to guns, poverty and rising maternity mortality rates, the Vatican’s editorial director said on Saturday.
In a media editorial on the United States Supreme Court’s ruling to end the constitutional right to abortion, Andrea Tornielli said those who oppose abortion could not pick and choose pro-life issues. read more
“Being for life, always, for example, means being concerned if the mortality rates of women due to motherhood increase,” he wrote.
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He cited statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing a rise in maternity mortality rates overall and that the rate was nearly three times higher for black women.
“Being for life, always, means asking how to help women welcome new life,” he wrote, citing an unsourced statistic that 75% of women who have abortions live in poverty or are low-wage earners.
He also cited statistics from the Harvard Review of Psychiatry showing that the United States has much lower rates of paid parental leave compared with other rich nations.
“Being for life, always, also means defending it against the threat of firearms, which unfortunately have become a leading cause of death of children and adolescents in the U.S.” he wrote.
The Roman Catholic church teaches that abortion is murder because life begins at the moment of conception and ends with natural death.
Pope Francis has compared having an abortion to “hiring a hit man” to eliminate a problematic person.
But he has tried to steer the U.S. Catholic Church away from seeing abortion as the single, overarching life issue in the country’s so-called culture wars.
The death penalty, gun control, support for families, and immigration are also life issues, he has said.
The Vatican’s Academy for Life praised Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, saying it challenged the world to reflect on life issues, but also called for social changes to help women keep their children. read more
U.S. President Joe Biden, a lifelong Catholic, condemned the ruling, calling it a “sad day” for America and labelling the court’s conservatives as “extreme”.
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Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Mike Harrison
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Supreme Court ‘Misleadingly Quotes Me’ in Abortion Ruling: Law Professor
Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor of constitutional law, accused the conservative Supreme Court majority of “misleadingly” utilizing his quotes in its controversial Friday decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Conservative Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The ruling in that case brought an end to nearly five decades of Supreme Court precedent—overturning the landmark 1973 Roe decision and bringing an end to woman’s constitutionally protected right to an abortion.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito argued in his opinion.
Four of the top court’s justices concurred with Alito’s opinion, while Chief Justice John Roberts concurred with upholding the 15-week abortion ban of Dobbs, but took issue with fully overturning Roe. The Court’s three liberal justices together issued a dissenting opinion.
Tribe, who has been harshly critical of the Supreme Court’s decision, said the conservative majority opinion misused his quotes to justify its arguments overturning Roe.
“The Dobbs majority misleadingly quotes me on pages 50 and 54 in straining to justify a decision the dissent rightly calls an exercise in ‘power, not reason.’ Don’t be fooled. The writings from which the Court cherry-picked my quotes were totally supportive of the result in Roe,” the constitutional law expert wrote in a Friday evening Twitter post.
On page 50, the conservative majority opinion states: “As Professor Laurence Tribe has written, ‘[c]learly, this mistakes ‘a definition for a syllogism.’ Tribe 4 (quoting Ely 924). The definition of a ‘viable’ fetus is one that is capable of surviving outside the womb, but why is this the point at which the State’s interest becomes compelling?”
On page 54, it quotes Tribe again, stating: “Laurence Tribe wrote that ‘even if there is a need to divide pregnancy into several segments with lines that clearly identify the limits of governmental power, ‘interest-balancing’ of the form the Court pursues fails to justify any of the lines actually drawn.”
Newsweek reached out to the Supreme Court’s press office for comment.
“Three men — Presidents GHW Bush (Justice Thomas), GW Bush (Justices Alito, Roberts), Trump (Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Alito) — two of whom won with a minority of the popular vote — have done this to tens of millions of women and to the rule of law. This must be undone,” Tribe wrote in a follow-up Friday evening Twitter post.
Protests have broken out across the country in the wake of the controversial ruling. Multiple states quickly implemented so-called “trigger laws,” which were in place and ready to go the moment Roe was overturned. Meanwhile, states that have already protected legal abortions have taken steps to make them easier to access to women traveling across state lines.
Former President Donald Trump hailed the decision and took credit, describing the ruling as “the biggest WIN for LIFE in a generation” in a statement. He said it was “only made possible because I delivered everything as promised, including nominating and getting three highly respected and strong Constitutionalists confirmed to the United States Supreme Court.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden slammed the decision.
“Now, with Roe gone, let’s be very clear: The health and life of women in this nation are now at risk,” Biden said in a Friday address at the White House. The president went on to say that the nation’s top court “has done what it has never done before: expressly take away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans that had already been recognized.”
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