Washington, Oct 1 : Obese patients with specific genetic makeup have an enhanced response to a weight loss drug, while others who lack the factors lose little or no weight, says a new study.
Conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers, it was a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled study based on the drug sibutramine.
In the study, the researchers measured the impact of two different dosage levels of sibutramine (10 or 15 mg daily) combined with behavioural therapy for 12 weeks in 181 overweight or obese participants.
Participants received structured behavioural therapy for weight management at four, eight and 12 weeks.
It has already been shown that in trials with this approved medication, patients who received sibutramine and behavioural therapy lost significantly more weight than those who received placebo and the same behavioural therapy.
It was also confirmed that weight loss at four weeks was a significant predictor of weight at 12 weeks, despite adjusting for baseline weight, gender, BMI and treatment.
They also examined the influence on weight and body composition of specific genetic markers indicative of variation in the function of two hormones/transmitters and an intracellular protein that mediates the function of those hormones.
It was found that patients with a certain pattern of variations of the genes lost an average of 10-12 pounds over the 12-week study, and those with unfavourable variations did worse.
The findings are published in the latest issue of Gastroenterology.