Conference Coverage

SUSTAIN-7: GLP-1 receptor agonists effective in elderly



– Efficacy and safety of two glucagonlike peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists in type 2 diabetes mellitus were similar between older and younger adults, according to a post hoc analysis of the SUSTAIN 7 clinical trial data.

However, clinicians should be alert for the greater potential for gastrointestinal upset in older patients with higher doses of GLP-1 receptor agonists, said the study’s first author, Vanita Aroda, MD, associate director for clinical diabetes research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

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The SUSTAIN 7 trial compared low-dose semaglutide (0.5 mg) with low-dose dulaglutide (0.75 mg), and high-dose semaglutide (1.0 mg) with high-dose dulaglutide (1.5 mg) as add-on therapy to metformin for adults with type 2 diabetes. All medications were given as once-weekly subcutaneous injections.

Dr. Aroda and her collaborators performed a subgroup analysis of the SUSTAIN 7 data that compared 260 patients aged 65 years and older (mean, 69.3 years) with 939 patients younger than 65 years (mean, 51.9 years).

“What we found is that the efficacy results … were similar to what we saw in the general population. We did not lose the efficacy in the older adult population,” said Dr. Aroda in an interview at the annual meeting of the American Association for Clinical Endocrinology.

Weight loss was similar in older and younger patients, though there was “maybe a tiny bit more in the older adults,” said Dr. Aroda: Older participants had a 4.4-kg reduction in weight, compared with 4.9-kg reduction in the younger population, on low-dose semaglutide. For low-dose dulaglutide, losses were an average 2.6 kg in the elderly versus 2.2 kg in the younger participants.

The higher doses of each resulted in greater weight loss, up to a mean 6.7 kg in elderly participants on high-dose semaglutide, with the same marginally greater losses seen in older participants.

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