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Semaglutide demonstrates significant symptom improvement and enhanced mobility in individuals with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, obesity

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 In the Phase 3 STEP HFpEF trial, once-weekly semaglutide 2.4 mg was found to have significant benefits for adults with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and obesity. The results showed notable reductions in heart failure symptoms, improved physical abilities, enhanced exercise function, and greater weight loss compared to a placebo.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Amsterdam, Netherlands and published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine.


 In the study, using semaglutide 2.4 mg for 52 weeks led to significant improvements compared to a placebo:

  • Patients on semaglutide experienced a substantial increase of 16.6 points in the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire Clinical Summary Score (KCCQ-CSS) score, while those on placebo saw an 8.7-point increase. The difference between the groups was estimated at 7.8 points (P < 0.001).
  • Semaglutide resulted in a notable reduction in body weight, with a 13.3% decrease, in contrast to a 2.6% reduction with placebo. This translated to a significant treatment difference of 10.7% weight reduction (P < 0.001).
  • The 6-Minute Walking Distance also improved significantly with semaglutide, showing a mean increase of 21.5 meters, compared to a mere 1.2 meters with placebo. The estimated treatment difference was 20.3 meters (P < 0.001).
  • Semaglutide demonstrated the ability to reduce inflammation, as indicated by lower levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.

“As clinicians, we have limited treatment options to offer our patients living with HFpEF and obesity. Yet this is a condition that seriously impacts patients’ day-to-day experience, due to debilitating symptoms and functional limitations,” said Dr Mikhail Kosiborod, lead study investigator in a press release. “Today’s news heralds a possible fundamental paradigm shift in how cardiologists approach HFpEF in people with obesity. It’s gratifying to be able to share important evidence that has a potential to change the future clinical management of this vulnerable patient population.”